Tag Archives: social bookmarking

Top 5 Qualities of Your Ideal SEO Consultant

You’ve done your research and you can’t wait to get your Internet marketing campaign rolling. At this time, you already have clear goals of what you’d like your online campaign to achieve for your business. You’re in the market for a brilliant SEO consultant who can execute your plans, help you achieve your objective, and give you ROI.

With enough initial information, you’ll be able to tell the scam-SEO services from the legitimate SEO consultancy firms. Choosing the best firm for you is the critical step.

All good SEO companies offer the same basic services. It’s the quality of relationship they build with you and your business that adds value to their technical know-how. Below are the 5 most important qualities that your chosen SEO consultant must have before you sign up.

1.    Must be willing to learn about your business

After a short introduction of your business, it is always a good sign that the SEO consultant immediately asks a series of questions about your market and shows a keen interest on your business and marketing objectives.

A brilliant SEO consultant knows that his optimization efforts begin and end with your consumer. The more he gets to know your niche market, the better the solutions he can offer your business.

2.    Must know the value of market research and data analysis

Your SEO consultant should be able to appreciate the value of market research and to translate consumer insights into optimization tools.

Successful keywords and high-value traffic depends on how well you sift through research information and how well your SEO consultant can apply your data to actual optimization.

3.    Must put content quality before website aesthetics

You SEO consultant may not be a very good writer, and this is fine as long as he can tell whether or not a piece of article is written for optimization or not. For him, the most important elements of your content should be:
·    Natural integration of keywords
·    Keyword density
·    Absence of duplicate content elsewhere in the web
·    Relevance
·    Tone, choice of words, and writing style

4.    Must know the rules, terms, and agreements of the top search engines

A good consultant must always have your website’s best interest as his top priority. Make sure that he does not even think of suggesting black hat SEO or other unethical methods.

He must be aware and updated of the top search engines’ rules and terms of agreements. He must make sure that you won’t accidentally do something that would result to having your website banned and blacklisted.

This requirement should extend to his knowledge of social bookmarking websites, PR sites, top blogs, and forums. Make sure that he does not risk your credibility in any way.

5.    Must be able to give you regular reports and suggest fresh ideas

Optimizing for the Internet is a continuous process. The only way to know what to do next and what else you can do is to study reports. Be sensitive to statistics and all the factors that cause fluctuations—don’t be misled by either positive or negative spikes.

Creativity is very welcome in the SEO arena. Encourage your SEO consultant to put fresh ideas on the table. An important mark of a great SEO consultant is if he can handle constructive criticism and take on the challenge of giving better options.


The Marketing Benefits of Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking websites are rapidly making their way to the online marketer’s list of priority channels to tap. When used well, social bookmarking can increase your website’s traffic, which can translate to actual sales.

Social bookmarking websites strive to create online communities that enable registered users to share interesting information they find online. Similar to how you bookmark web pages using your browser’s toolbar, social bookmarking websites allow users to create online bookmarks that they can share with their network. When your web page gets bookmarked by a lot of users—or even by just a handful of socially influential users—then there is a big possibility that you will get attention.

Besides being able to get your web pages out there, here are 4 other major benefits you can get as you make social bookmarking a part of your online marketing strategy.

1.    Builds credibility for your brand
Primarily, social bookmarking websites are social communities. This means that majority of their content is user-generated. When a registered user bookmarks a web page, he gets to share the link and his opinions on what makes it cool or informative. He can even go as far as adding his own thoughts and rating the link.

This bookmark-review-rate function adds credibility to your web pages. To get on the users’ good side, make sure that your content is focused and relevant—don’t just keep talking about your brand. Keep your niche’s needs in mind as you create your content and then naturally integrate your brand.

2.    Attracts niche traffic
More often than not, a user’s social bookmarking network is composed of friends or colleagues who share the same interests with him. This means that if the user stumbles upon your web page, likes it, bookmarks it, and tells his network about it, then the people that make up his network would probably check you out.

If you have a good internal link network, these people will find themselves on other pages of your website and bookmark the pages that they like. Good content will get more of your web pages acknowledged in social bookmarks.

3.    Gives you valuable consumer insights

Making your own account gives you more control over how much of your web pages get bookmarked. You can build your own network. Even if your network starts off with your own family and friends, they’ll make you good reviews and tell their networks about you.

Eventually, your network will grow to include other people whose interests adhere to your brand. Go out of your way to socially engage these people. Talk to them and befriend them. Having a personal connection with people in your network will give you a wealth of valuable consumer insight that you can use for future product developments and improvements to your brand.

4.    Gives you fresh ideas for web page content

Reviews and comments posted by various users whether about your web pages or other web pages that belong to your product category will tell you a lot about what issues matter to them, which of their needs aren’t being addressed—including whether or not your competitors are doing a good job or not.

Use this information to come up with relevant content that has the consumer in mind. Make sure that your tone is conversational so that your pages don’t sound like sales pitches.

How to Market Your Brand by Social Bookmarking

1.    Make relevant and consumer-focused content
Before finding ways to make your website known to the world, take a step back to really look at your web pages’ content. Check if all your articles sound like sales pitches. If they do, it would be a good idea to start revising.

Remember that you are writing for your consumers. To attract their attention, you need to be relevant. To keep them reading, your content has to sound conversational. To make them understand you and your brand, your articles must be well-written without grammar errors. To make them come back, you have to update your content.

Understanding your niche is the driving force towards publishing great content. Investing time into marketing research will give you information on your niche’s demographics, psychographics, and their behavior towards your brand and your competition. This will shed light on certain issues and needs that your brand can address. These are the things you write about to stay relevant so that they keep visiting you and they can recommend you to their social bookmarking network.

2.    Make your own account

Making your own social bookmarking account will allow you to experience social bookmarking. Your account can help you better understand how your niche uses this technology and how you can make it work towards the benefit of your web pages.

Making your own account will also update you on which websites are in and which are not. It gives you an idea on what is your industry’s benchmark and how you do against it. Grab this opportunity to compare your content with theirs. If other web pages are attracting quality traffic, then you might want to find out what they’re doing right.

3.    Make friends

You social bookmarking account allows you to create your own social network. Initially, your network may only consist of people you personally know. Eventually, when your niche catches wind of your social bookmarking existence, you’ll find yourself in their networks and vice-versa.

It is advisable to make friends and maintain social relationships. This allows you to better understand people and their needs so that you can craft better communication strategies and develop better products.

4.    Make conversation
As your network grows, you’ll get more updates on reviews and ratings that people have made on other web pages. They’ll comment and sometimes ask for their peers’ opinions. Grab this opportunity to share your thoughts, especially if the web page in question belongs to your category.

Sharing your thoughts (in a polite manner) will earn people’s trust and up your credibility. When you give helpful and informative inputs, people would be encouraged to know more about you. Always have a URL ready when you post your comments. Pick a landing page that is relevant to the topic being discussed.

5.    Make criticisms work for you

As more of your web pages make it to people’s social bookmarks, you’ll get feedback—from general things like your themes and design to the specifics of your content. Sometimes, the feedback you get may be not what you expect. However, turn these criticisms around to work in your favor. Thank the people and tell them that you’ll seriously consider their comments and that you always work hard to improve your website for all of them to enjoy.


How to Get Traffic from Social Bookmarking Sites

Social bookmarking sites allow people to share web pages with their network. Generally, each user registers, creates his profile, and builds a list of links to web pages that he thinks is entertaining, informative, or interesting in some way. The social aspect comes with the function that allows each user to invite his network to view his list of links.

In turn, the user can also take a look at what others in his network have bookmarked and he can follow the links which interest him. Usually, a user’s social network is made up of his friends or people he shares a professional or an interest group with.

Social bookmarking sites have tremendous marketing value. When one user includes a link to any of your pages in his list, then there is a possibility that his entire network will follow your link. A good way to make your links appear on users’ lists is to participate in social bookmarking yourself. Here are 4 tips to help you out and make sure that your brand gets the most out of it.

1.    Update and keep your content unique

The concept of social bookmarking is sharing something nice you’ve found online. In your case, you could have “found” your own site’s content to be interesting or useful.

It’s perfectly fine and ethical to include your web pages in your bookmarks. However, the best social bookmarking sites are strict with accepting only unique content. So, if your pages are similar to a lot of other websites in the same category, then the social bookmarking site might not allow your pages to be part of your bookmarks. This is why it’s important to focus on the needs of your niche and to maintain niche content.

2.    Make your content relevant to your niche
No matter how entertaining or how well written your content is, no one will follow you back to your pages if they don’t find your text relevant to their needs and interests.

Every brand should know its niche inside-out. Yours, although marketed online, is not exempted. Study your market and know what motivates them. Get to know their issues and needs that your brand can address. Figure out where else on the Internet they hang out. This knowledge will give credibility to your content and ultimately, your brand. More than just knowing what you’re talking about, you want to sound like you’re conversing with each visitor personally. Build relationships.

3.    Be social

It is, after all, social bookmarking. Being friendly can build you a great network filled with people who belong to your niche. Allow them to comment on the links that you post and reply to their comments when necessary. Make sure you don’t start a fight. Take this opportunity to really get to know people and use the information you gather to improve your online strategy.

4.    Make sure you’re not self-centered

You hate it when other people keep talking about themselves, and other people will dislike you for it as well. Besides your own web pages, include other relevant pages in your bookmarks. This shows that you’re genuinely interested to share interesting stuff and it also assures the social bookmarking site that you’re not a spammer or a self-promoter. Put your niche’s needs before your own, and you’ll be rewarded.


Do You Use Keywords Properly in Your Website?

1. Know your market’s language
At this point, you might already have a list of keywords that you want to optimize for. These keywords could be general terms commonly used to describe your product or your category. You might be thinking that the more general the terms are, the more ground you’ll cover and the more traffic you’ll get.

It could be true that you’re getting high traffic because of generic keywords. However, have you checked how many of these translate to sales? Do they even belong to your target market?

The better you know your market’s language, the better keywords you’ll come up with. Generic keywords attract a generic audience. On the other hand, niche keywords attract your niche market. These people are the ones who will contribute to your bottom line, if you do everything else right.

Find out how your niche talks about your product and others that belong to your category. Visit related blogs, forums, and social bookmarking websites. Participate as much as you can to get more detailed information on how people use and react to certain words.

2. Optimize for words and phrases
After coming up with the list of niche keywords, you can begin to optimize your online content. You can combine the keywords in your list to form niche keyword phrases that more advanced searches use.

For example, an individual interested in owning a dog will initially search for dog for sale. The more information he finds online, the more specific his searches will become. Eventually, his search bar input could become pedigree Yorkshire Terriers with papers. Hence, you need to optimize for both words and phrases.

Although you won’t be able to read people’s minds, being prepared will require very little adjustments in the long run, as opposed to a keyword overhaul every time the market shifts.

3. Strategically place your keywords
Having a niche keyword list also helps you naturally integrate the keywords into your content. It is important that in every article you post, you maintain a conversational tone. Your market does not want to read page after page of sales pitches. They want something informative and relevant. If you can make it naturally entertaining, even better.

It is integral that your keywords appear on your title or headline, the first and the last sentences of your content. Within the body, it would help search engine spiders if you put keywords in bold or italics.

4. Check your keyword density
Keyword density measures the frequency of your keywords relative to the number of non-keywords in your content. The acceptable percentage is 3% to 8% and anything beyond that will be considered spamming by most search engines.

There are free tools online that you can use to compute for your content’s keyword density before publication.

5. Update your keywords
No matter how specific your market is, changes will still occur. The only way for your content to be consistently relevant is if you stay on top of the changes that happen to your niche market.

Regularly come up with a qualitative market research that can give you valuable consumer insight. Keep in mind tip number 1, so that your keywords will always be specific to your niche.

5 Things to Do While Waiting to Rank in Google

1. Rank in MSN
It requires the same optimization basics to optimize for the 3 biggest search engines. Maximize the SEO that you’ve already done with your website for Google.

While everybody—including your competition—is waiting for his website to rank in Google, it is a good idea to submit your website to MSN. The MSN marketplace isn’t as crowded as Google’s so it takes less than half the time to rank high. Although the bulk of your market remains loyal to Google, you shouldn’t alienate the handful who exclusively use MSN or those who use MSN with Google.

2. Visit top-ranking forums
Use this time to immerse yourself with your niche. Forums that host topics relevant to your website content can give you a lot of information—consumer insight, market trends, and even new niche vocabulary.

Participating in forums is an accurate way of gauging market behavior so that you can immediately tweak your website content to help speed things up with Google and for you to maintain your top position with MSN.

Moreover, being genuinely helpful and interested in what others have to say will surely up your credibility. Eventually, when you include specific links with your forum posts, people will feel better about taking a peek and giving the rest of your website a chance.

3. Visit credible blogs
Apart from forums, top-ranking blogs are also a rich source of market information. These blogs rank high due to the credibility that they already posses. If you can leave appropriate comments, do so. This shows how much interest you have for the topic, and like in the forums, you can eventually leave links when you’ve established your credibility.

The goal is to have these blogs link to your site, and you can do them a favor and have your site link to these blogs.

4. Start your own social bookmarking account
Social bookmarking has proven itself to be an important component of successful Internet marketing. Social bookmarking websites allow the public to share websites that they think are relevant or fun.

More than bookmarking your own websites, having your own social bookmarking account gives you control over which sites to share. When you’ve built a solid network, you can then start introducing your website gradually, until others bookmark them. This way, you won’t break any rules that could result to your account and your website being banned from the bookmarks.

5. Continue updating your content
Updated content is just as important as optimized content. You have to be consistently relevant and fresh to attract more search hits. Not only does this speed things up between you and Google, it also shows your niche how dedicated you are to helping them out and giving them information.

Being updated also helps you maintain a good relationship with your link network that includes blogs and other websites. Fresh content also ensures visibility in social bookmarking websites. Make sure you check for spelling and grammar errors before you publish any of your content

5 Fundamentals of Social Bookmarking

With the wide variety of online marketing tools, it becomes difficult and time-consuming to find the perfect software that addresses your marketing needs. Most search engine marketers get caught up in looking for the latest software in the market that they lose track of what their marketing and communication objectives are.

Social bookmarking began as a way for users to keep track of the websites they like and share the list with their peers who most likely share their interests. The best in the field of search engine marketing saw social bookmarking as an opportunity to reach more people with less effort, while keeping the marketing budget in check.

Below are 5 points—a mix of marketing basics and social bookmarking tips—that can help you in maximizing the potentials of social networks and bookmarks.

1. Determine a niche
Whether you do digital marketing or traditional marketing, you always go back to the consumer. After all, you are appealing for a particular market to listen to what you have to say and hopefully, they’ll hear you out and make a purchase.

You don’t want to spend a lot of money talking to everybody, because not everybody is a prospect for your brand. You don’t stop filtering the market until you get to a niche market, and that’s whom you talk to all the time.

2. Research on your niche so you have a single-minded focus
After you’ve figured out whom to talk to, do your research and find out what they’re interested in talking about. Look for a way to integrate your brand into their needs and interests. Find a creative way to talk to them and tell them how your brand can address their issues. Be helpful. Know what you want to say and be consistent.

3. Speak their language
Knowing what to say isn’t enough. You have to say it right so that you’ll be understood the way you want to be.

4. Find the mother ship
The most efficient way to maximize the reach of social bookmarking is to find where your niche gathers and who has the power to influence. Choosing the most relevant social website to your niche and finding that handful of people who have the most contacts will help propel your web page. Just make sure you don’t do anything that will make them remove your link from their bookmarks.

5. Keep them after you get to them
You shouldn’t be content when your niche flocks to your website once. The challenge is to give them reasons to keep visiting your website and make purchases.

Regularly update your website content so that people will have something to look forward to on a regular basis. Make sure that your content remains relevant and helpful to them so that their interest in you doesn’t take a dip.

It would be helpful if you allow your visitors to leave comments and suggestions and that you reply to them when they have questions

3 Pitfalls of Automated Social Bookmarking

Riding on the increasing popularity of social bookmarking as a major component of online marketing, some online companies offer the services of an automated social bookmarker.

For a set fee, they promise the convenience of getting your web pages bookmarked in almost all of the social bookmarking websites—including the best ones—without you having to do any work.

The offer also claims to improve your rankings in search engine results, since the more bookmarks your web pages get, the better search engine spiders can crawl all over them.

Efficient as the offer might sound, be wary. Automated bookmarking could (although very rarely) work for a few days.

However, search engines and top social bookmarking websites are quick to detect the work of an “automator”. The first detection already leads to dire consequences.

Below are the 3 pitfalls of automated social bookmarking that you must consider before you avail of the services of automated social bookmarkers.

1. High risk of being blacklisted from the top social bookmarking sites
Strict social bookmarking rules exist to protect the goal of social bookmarking: to build online communities where each individual is able to share online resources from various websites to his online network.

Like search engines, the best social bookmarking sites have stringent rules about self-promotion and spamming. They have the capability to detect automatic bookmarkers, which they consider as spammers.

The first time that you get tagged will be the last time because every page stemming from your website will be banned from the bookmarks. You would have to go through the trouble of getting a new domain, not to mention rebuilding your credibility to your market and you’ve wasted all that money on an automated service that gave you all this trouble.

2. High risk of NOT ranking in the top 3 search engines
Google, Yahoo, and MSN have the capability to detect artificially generated hits and traffic. To preserve the sanctity of searches, these top search engines exclude inorganic website activity, including automated bookmarkers.

Although automated bookmarkers won’t get you blacklisted from these search engines, you wouldn’t get the rankings supposedly achieved by the automation. In the end, your pages still get buried under all the other sites that actually did work.

3. High risk of being tagged as a spammer—by your niche
The worst that comes out from all of this isn’t even the need for a new domain, nor is it the need to rebuild your site from scratch. It’s the credibility that you’ve lost for your brand.

The Internet is a small place. Word gets around and people will know why your website went under. Regaining your niche’s trust will take a lot more than purchasing a new domain. The other option, creating a new brand, will also be a lot of work.

Search engine optimisation and most marketing strategies rely on hard work and knowledge of the market. Although social bookmarking automators could offer to do the dirty work, they still aren’t capable of knowing where your market is and what matters to them.

Remember that technology is merely a tool that requires your guidance.

Social Bookmarking. 4 Steps to Make It to the Top

1. Know your market
The alpha and the omega of online marketing success is your consumer. Getting to know what your target consumers like and dislike isn’t enough. More than the tangible, it is important to find out their lifestyle, their mindsets, and their motivations.

Knowing their personality will help you craft your communications and marketing plans, giving you a better chance to be received well.

2. Write for your market
Your website should equally serve your niche and your brand. More than website aesthetics, the written text is your real weapon. Figure out your market’s niche keywords and optimize your content accordingly. Make sure that your articles are relevant and helpful so that your market can see more value in your brand.

Updating is an important element of making your web content work for you. Give your visitors a good reason to keep coming back and to tell their peers about how useful your website is.

3. Find out where your niche hangs out online
Don’t wait for your market to find the good content you have. While some will find their way to you via the search engines, you’ll still meet a lot of them halfway.

Check out popular forums with threads that are related to your brand. Get to know how your category is being talked about. You might even find your brand somewhere in the many conversations. I suggest going as far as creating your own forum account, logging in, and joining the thread. Doing so will help you build credibility for your brand and after a while, you can even include web page URLs with your posts. If these individuals are happy with your content, they’ll include you in their online bookmarks.

Another technique is to look for top-ranking blogs relevant to your brand. These bloggers have fantastic credibility and are looked up to by their peers. Read what they have to say about your category and find out how they are responding to the latest products. Participate in the comments section and eventually, you’d feel comfortable leaving your website’s URL. The ultimate goal is to have the blogger include your website in his social bookmarks.

4. Dive into it
After rubbing elbows with your niche in forums and blogs, it is now time to create your own social bookmark account. Collect all the URLs that link back to your website and all your web pages, and begin organizing them in your online bookmarking account.

Make sure that you don’t forget to tag these URLs. It will make it easier for those in your social bookmark network to find what they’re looking for. These people, in one way or another, will end up finding their way back to your website or any of your web pages.

Throughout all of these steps, updating still remains top priority. Update your knowledge of your market. Keep researching. Update your keyword list. Update your content. Make sure that you’re alerted when someone replies to a post you made in the forums or if someone replies to a comment you left in one of the blogs. And lastly, make sure that you update your online bookmark so that people find you all the time.

Social Bookmarking for Beginners

Traditional bookmarking
Most Internet browsers come equipped with a user-friendly bookmarking tool that allows users to keep track of their most frequented websites without having to write down the different URLs.

The URLs are organized as lists under different user-defined categories, much like creating different folders for saving files. Users can keep adding URLs to their lists and they can delete URLs from the lists anytime.

Social bookmarking
Social bookmarking is patterned after the same concept of traditional bookmarking. Creating the list of URLs and organizing them still depend on individual users. However, the lists can be viewed by the public and the URLs can be followed by anyone granted access to the individual’s bookmarks.

Much like social networking websites, there are sites dedicated to creating a network of bookmarks that individuals can share with others who have the same interests. In fact, there are some websites that have already put together the best of social networking and bookmarking, like Facebook.

Here are some of the known social bookmarking websites:

• Del.icio.us
• Digg
• Reddit
• Stumbleupon
• Newsvine

One of the most useful features of the best social bookmarking websites is tagging. Users have been acquainted with tagging when blogging started to become popular. Tagging allows users to assign keywords, also known as tags, to help others in their social bookmarking network find the URLs that they need from hundreds of bookmarked lists.

Social bookmarking and SEO
There are 2 ways to approach social bookmarking from a search engine marketing perspective:

1. Optimize to be bookmarked
The success of this method is heavily dependent on your website content. Do a little research and check out people’s social bookmarks. Find out which other websites your niche visits, and see how your content matches up to that of the other websites.

People bookmark websites that they find relevant and helpful. They go as far as recommending these websites to their peers who share the same interests, usually through social bookmarking.

2. Link up to be bookmarked
This method could yield better results, but it requires you to work harder. Build your credibility by having other people talk about you, preferably those who are leaders and opinion makers that your niche looks up to.

Make an account and visit all the forums that your niche frequents. Get yourself in the loop. Find out what they talk about and how they talk about your brand and others that compete in the same product category. Make relevant and helpful inputs, and then when people get used to your presence, insert your URL in your posts. The objective is to attract the opinion leaders to visit your website and have them talk about you more.

Another way to go about this is to check out blogs that talk about things related to your brand. The highest-ranking blogs usually have more credibility. The objective is to have these blogs link back to your website.

The last step is to create your own social bookmarking account and add all the blogs and forum pages that mention you or link back to your website.