July 22, 2016

3 common pitfalls of simple A/B testing on your website

According to Google Trends ‘A/B testing’ is a phrase constantly growing in popularity and is now 4x more popular than 5 years ago. There is no doubt that evidence-based approach is good in business but there are some common pitfalls that should be considered when conducting simple split tests.

 

  • When you should stop testing - statistical significance problem

 

Let’s start with stopping. When do you know to stop your experiment and that you are ready to draw conclusions? How many observations is enough?

Simply put statistical significance gives you the basis to say that an observed performance difference is not a result of randomness. With the use of basic statistical tests you may assess whether variant A performs better than variant B. Your conclusions will assess the data at a given point in time and with a given probability of error. This probability combines over the number of tests you perform and you may end up drawing conclusions from a coincidence rather than a real pattern.

This problem may be handled by applying sequential analysis and Wald sequential probability ratio test but it reaches beyond a basic A/B testing approach and still doesn’t address the changing audience.

 

  • Your visitors are changing  - conclusions generalization problem

 

After executing A/B experiment there is a natural need for extending conclusions to all audience and construct organizational knowledge. It may be a costly mistake.

Visitors learn. For example, global audience behavior change as more and more online stores display popups to gather emails or provide coupons. It’s commonly known as a ‘concept drift’ and by definition the effect it may have on customer experience is hard to predict.

Visitors come from different situational contexts. Whether a visitor clicked on your ad or found your store on their own may have an influence on their motivation and decision process. Also, the sole phrasing of an ad shapes expectations regarding your website and it may be seamlessly selecting people with different psychological traits.

Visitors change over time. Perception of your website is evolving as you grow your brand and gather customer success stories. The same person who entered your website three months ago may react differently to your messages today.

Those are the root causes of ‘selection bias’ that forbids you to draw conclusions from a sample that is not carefully setup and designed to reflect your audience. Even when stratifying your sample you might end up repeating your tests and draw conclusions limited only to a particular campaign.

 

  • You may choose the wrong goal - fault in design you cannot mitigate

 

Optimizing Click Through Rate of your call-to-action button is not the same as optimizing your Conversion Rate, because those metrics might but don’t necessary have to be correlated.

You might have placed funny, clickable popup that encourages your visitors to click but doesn’t address their needs and current step in the decision process. This approach would cause promoting popups that increase the engagement of your website rather than conversions.

The golden rule of solving this problem is to measure and make decisions based on the same metric you’d like to optimize. If your main goal is to increase the number of orders or Average Order Value you have to model the influence of your variants on those particular metrics although having multiple optimization objectives at once is again beyond the basic framework.

 

Simple A/B testing should be used carefully and rather as a ‘better than nothing’ tool than a golden bullet. Available marketing tools vary in expertise level although there are some really advanced tools on the market which allows you to take care of the problems and bring a proper empirical framework to the business world.

 

Przemyslaw S. Gliniecki is a Co-Founder of Cart Defender (https://cartdefender.com), which brings machine learning to eCommerce by providing behaviorally targeted popups with automated variants recommendation for online stores. Currently available on Magento Connect marketplace and for WooCommerce with a plugin and for other and custom platforms via an API.  

E-mail: psg@cartdefender.com

Twitter: @CartDefender

 

July 17, 2016

How To Use Whitespark To Improve Your Local SEO

There’s no argument that ranking among the top of your local search results is substantially easier than competing against large brands in the organic results.  That means the small guy still has a chance to tap into the highly profitable search engine traffic, and do it even more affordably these days.


With the help of a single tool, you can easily take over your SEO campaign.  The tool, Whitespark, is currently being used by thousands of local SEO agencies to help their clients generate high rankings with minimal effort.

You can use it to manage your own campaign, or use it as a way to figure out the competency of the agency that you’re hiring.  

This article is going to break down the various ranking factors major search engines are using to figure out where to place your site in the results, which you can also use to determine if the agency you’re hiring to do the work for you is actually doing what they say they’re doing.

There’s a simple 5 step formula that is practically guaranteed to help you rank higher in your local search results.

Step #1: Track Your Rankings

The most important part of any SEO campaign is to actually track your results.  Results, in the terms of SEO means the amount of traffic you’re bringing into your website, as well as the overall rankings for the keywords you have chosen.

Most times, you can use something as simple as Google Analytics to track the amount of visitors that are finding your website.  However, over the last few years, Google has started delivering more (not provided) information, instead of giving you the exact keywords customers used to find you.

That means you need an external source to figure out which keywords you’re ranking for, and how many visits per day those keywords are sending you.  Whitespark handles this for you, by aggregating data from a few different sources to provide you with an accurate representation of your rankings and how you’re bringing traffic into your site.

Step #2: Find New Citation Sources

Citations are one of the biggest ranking factors for local sites.  While they don’t necessarily increase your rankings in the organic search results, they do benefit you in other ways.

If you’re not aware yet, the term “citations” refers to how your business is cited across the internet.  Google uses a standard NAP format, or Name, Address, and Phone Number.  That means every time your NAP is displayed online, Google counts it and compares it against other businesses in your local market and industry.

Whitespark helps you find new sources to get your NAP listed, while also helping you track the existing citations you already have.  If they’re ever changed or removed, you will be notified of the status and given a chance to repair them.

Step #3: Automate Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are another big factor that Google and other major search engines use to figure out how trustworthy and authoritative your business is, compared to others in your area and industry.  Their reputation builder helps you automate the process generating and managing customer reviews.

When a customer is happy, they can leave the review on your website, and then Whitespark will aggregate the data to more than 45 different review platforms.

Not only does the tool let you generate new customer reviews using your email platform, they also let you easily intercept negative feedback, and act on it to either save the customer and make them happy with your service, or at least rectify the situation so that the negative feedback doesn’t show up in other places.

Step #4: Find New Link Building Opportunities

The backlinks pointing to your website are the #1 ranking factor Google uses to determine where you should be ranking in the organic results.  

The more high quality, trustworthy, and authoritative links you have, compared to your competition, the higher you rank in the results.  That’s why it’s so important to focus on building them.  Most people start drawing blanks when it comes time to actually do the work, though.

Whitespark will help you identify opportunities to build links pointing to your site, from other websites that have their own traffic and are trusted in the search engines.  

It will also help you track the links pointing to your own site, as well as links that are pointing to your competitor’s sites, so that you can replicate their link profile.

Step #5: Track Your Offline Conversions

Tracking offline conversions is almost impossible without software tying your Analytics or other stat tracking software together with your CRM.  Tying them together is a fairly complicated task in most instances, but Whitespark tends to make the job easier for you.

A lot of websites use a “How did you hear about us?” form, but most don’t use it properly.  For most business owners, they’ll look at the information provided and then move onto whatever else they’re doing.

With Whitespark, though, you can save the information into a database and then generate accurate statistics to figure out which campaigns are delivering you the best results -- which gives you a chance to double down on those areas of your marketing plan.

Step #6: Pass Out Review Tutorials

When a customer comes into your store but doesn’t leave an email, you can still capitalize on the opportunity to receive a review from them about the service they received.

If they are happy, you can use the automated review generator to spread their testimonial out onto the 45 review platforms mentioned earlier.  If they’re not, you can use the data they’ve given you to improve your operations and figure out where you or your team may be dropping the ball.

Whitespark gives you a review handout that you can pass to customers, that contains the information you need to enter their review into the database, and then push it out to the review platforms major search engines use to display your business’ information in their search results.

Pulling It All Together

SEO can be a complex process, especially if you’ve never attempted to do it before.  Hiring an agency can set you up for failure, because of the sheer amount of “snake oil” salesmen that seem to flood the industry.

With Whitespark, you can either manage your own SEO campaigns, or you can make sure that your reputable SEO, web design, or marketing agency is actually performing the work they say they are performing -- and that they’re focusing on the right areas that will actually help grow your business’ search engine traffic.

 

James Crook - Author, Speaker, Web Marketer - is the best selling author of “Digitally Enhanced” and founder of marketing agency Choc Chip Digital. He works with hundreds of small businesses each year to grow their client base online, and is a passionate advocate for the power of authentic, heart-centred marketing. Widely recognised as a confident and articulate communicator, James draws on his love of digital technology to inspire, motivate and educate audiences across Australia.

July 08, 2016

75+ Simple SEO Steps To Follow When Launching A New Website (Infographic)

75+ Simple SEO Steps To Follow When Launching A New Website (Infographic)

The prospect of launching a new website can often give sleepless nights to many bloggers and entrepreneurs as they need to meticulously check all details before they can go live. Apart from selecting a unique and memorable domain name, they also need to ensure that their website is compatible across all browsers, that it works across all devices, be it desktops, mobile phones or tablets, that there are no bugs, etc. And more often than not, they miss out on the most critical thing that can make or break their brand online i.e. SEO.

You must optimize your website for search engines, understand how SEO works and implement the techniques and strategies to create a brand name for yourself in the online world.

However, for most people the process of optimizing their website for search engines can appear too challenging at first glance, but let me assure you that it is not as difficult as it may seem. All you need is a proper SEO set-up, one that includes all the best SEO practices and latest updates and you have started yourself off on the path to success.

Here’s a detailed SEO checklist that you will need to follow when launching a new website.

This checklist consists of 75+ simple SEO steps that can help you to make your site more accessible to search engines as well as users and help you

generate more traffic to your website, by improving your site’s performance on search engines. Best part, these 75+ techniques are encompassed in an impressive infographic which you can download for free.

So take a look at this stunning post and learn the best SEO techniques that will help to get your new site on its feet!

 

Nirav Dave is the Co-Founder of Capsicum Mediaworks, A Digital Marketing Agency based out of Mumbai, India, that specializes in all things WordPress & SEO. He worships WordPress and loves to read anything and everything written about this exceptional CMS its SEO Techniques.

Email nirav.dave@capsicum.in

Twitter Profile:https://twitter.com/nirav_dave

June 27, 2016

How To Use Real-Life Trade Shows To Generate Online Social Shares

By Brian Gordon, President, Skyline Toronto

It is no surprise that the people of this world have become increasingly focused on social media via their smartphones. However, it may come as a surprise to B2B marketers that one of the best ways to get more attention on their buyers’ smartphones can be started by what they do in their trade show displays.

Here are 3 proven ways you can use your trade show booth as a catalyst for getting trade show attendees to share your company via social media:

  1. Photo Opportunity In Your Exhibit

Attendees at trade shows love to be wowed, and will gladly share what they were wowed about via their social media accounts. So give them a reason to whip out their smartphone and take a picture! Give them the ability to have their picture taken in your booth with cool props like guitars or hats or costumes (and yes, even those mustaches-on-a-stick!), backdrops, or with a celebrity. You can also take their pictures with your own camera, share them on your social media accounts, and then email them the link to their picture, so it’s easy for them to social share them. And if your booth activity is fun enough (entertainers, dancers, artists, and magicians) they don’t have to be in the photo to share it. Add even more reason for shares by offering a prize to those who share pictures of your cool booth activity, along with a hashtag or your social media handle in their message.

  1. Give Educational / Trends Presentations In Your Booth

Many attendees to trade shows go because they are there to learn about the issues that face their industry and to learn how to do their job better. So schedule and promote that your company’s subject matter expert(s) will be giving short sessions about key issues facing your clients. Or have a top member of your team give a presentation about the main trends in your industry. Attendees may record and share these presentations, and for sure your own company can post them to its own social media accounts.   So these presentations can do double duty – they can draw in more attendees to your booth during the show, and then get you more social shares and greater reach after the show.

  1. Create A Post-Show Video Of What Happened In Your Display

Not everyone can make it to the trade show who wanted to go. They wanted to go see what was new, to see the energy and find out which potential vendors are truly trustworthy. So create a video that features your clients who visited you in your booth, raving about your products, your service, and your quality. Make a video of the product demonstrations you gave, so viewers can see them in action. And especially show off your new products that you introduced at that show. Then post the video on your YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts, and use the hashtag from the show to get more views. Go into the LinkedIn Group for the trade show, and post the video as a discussion, for those who were at the show but did not make it to your booth, or those who missed the show but wanted to go.

Trade shows are real life events that have the potential to let you capture and create great, sharable content for social media. Try one of these three ideas out at your next trade show. Just be sure to test the technology before the show, have space dedicated for it in your booth, and really train your booth staff how to pull it off so the whole process goes smoothly. You’ll find that your trade show program can become a strong ally of your social media marketing.

 

About the Author

Brian Gordon is a founding partner of Skyline Toronto, helping companies communicate their message through trade shows, events, and related displays. Clients include a broad spectrum, from Fortune 500 companies to small home-based operations. Areas of expertise include message creation, graphic and architectural design, exhibit display design and build of all sizes, set up and dismantle services locally and throughout the world, repair services, and educational trade show related seminars. Brian can be reached via his website at http://www.skyline.com/toronto-exhibits.

June 20, 2016

Online Marketing and Your Reputation: 4 Ways to Protect Yourself

I would like to thank One Degree for publishing this article. Their site offers in-depth analysis, best practices and insight on digital and social media trends. Check out their Branding section for more information on how to improve your company’s presence.

Reputation

Consumers have access to more information than ever before thanks to social media and Google. You’ve probably heard people complain about major brands having tone-deaf social posts or poor customer service. Unfortunately, you can never erase what you post on the internet, so it is critical your brand has a strong, reputable online presence.

Whether you’ve made the mistakes or someone has hacked your brand’s site or social profiles, you can regain your credibility and protect yourself with these five tips.

Keep your site up-to-date

Your site is the first place people will find when researching your business. Make sure all of the information such as phone number, contact email and address are recent. You’ll also want to ensure all of your links work and don’t lead to 404 pages.

Monitor online mentions of your name

You also want to track mentions on blogs, news sites and social media sites. You can set up alerts to notify you whenever someone mentions your brand’s name. This way you know exactly where and why people mention you and can respond accordingly.

Utilize social media daily

While you cannot remove negative search results for your brand, you can reduce their impact by posting positive information on social media sites. This requires daily effort to maintain your position as a thought leader in your field. While it might take some time, ultimately you are building a rapport directly with your audience when you join in these social communities.

Protect yourself against hackers

Although nothing can 100 percent prevent hackers, there are a few steps you can take to make it harder for them:

  1. Use different passwords and emails for your site and social media profiles. This makes it harder for people to access all of your profiles.
  1. When using unsecure public WiFi, use a VPN such as IPVanish to encrypt the communication between your computer and ISP so even if someone were to intercept it, they would need to expend a significant amount of effort to decode it.
  1. Keep your anti-virus and anti-spyware software up-to-date and avoid dubious sites.

Keeping track of your brand’s online reputation should your top priority as it can make or break your business. It might take some time, but a good impression can go a long way to converting visitors into customers. Do you have other tips on how to protect and improve your online reputation? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author: Cassie is a freelance writer who finds the intersection between marketing and technology a fascinating topic. She hopes her articles helps businesses improve their brand images by properly utilizing digital service.

June 06, 2016

How to Write an Analysis Essay on a Book

 

If you study English and literature as your major subjects, you will have to read a lot. In addition, you are expected to analyze what you read. An analysis essay on a book is one of the most comprehensive and paramount assignments one can be asked to do. Needless to say but many students find book review writing difficult inasmuch as they do not know how to organize their work well. Without doubt, you will have to accumulate your efforts and skills in order to compose the best analysis essay on a book. You can use these simple guidelines to grab the right approach towards the analysis of the required work of literature.

There are 6 basic step-by-step writing guidelines:

  1. Read the Book and Make the Outline. It is impossible to cope with the book analysis if you do not read the entire book attentively. What is more, you are supposed to take notes and underline the most considerable details right in the text. For instance, a good description of a character, item or environment will be very useful for the review of your novel or short story. If you fail to note the most important elements and descriptions, you will have to waste much time looking for them again. Secondly, you need to write a detailed and logical outline of the core events that take place in the book. Thirdly, you can prepare a plan of your analysis. Bear in mind that this assignment consists of three parts – introduction, the main body and conclusion. Every section has its own standards of writing and requirements.

  2. Organize an Effective and Superb Introduction. Your main duty is to attract the reader’s attention to your book analysis. Hereupon, you should write down the primary basic information about the book. Mention the full title, author, place and date of publication. These simple facts can help students find your book in the library or in various online catalogues. Then, say a few words about the author to inform the reader about the creator of your book. Say about his other famous books and define his place in the literature of your country. Bear in mind that you can analyze the text through the experience and biographical facts about the author. Sometimes authors describe their own experience and emotions through the characters of their books.

  3. Write a Short Summary of the Book and Find its Objectives. A practical analysis of a book should contain a brief summary of its text. Remember that you must not retell the whole story and details. It is enough to inform the reader about the central line of the story and its major characters. Next, it is reasonable to point out at the paramount objectives of the book. Without doubt, every book contains a great number of hidden ideas and problems. Sometimes, you should read between the lines to notice them. Try to define the message of the book whereas every author wants to deliver his specific idea to the audience.

  4. Analyze the Main Characters. The main characters often reflect the main idea of the book. Their behavior, actions, thoughts, dialogues and monologs help the reader understand the objective better. You need to find a few descriptions and important details about the characters to analyze their influence on the book and the total story better.
  5. Analyze the Main Problems of the Book. Observe the book from different sides. Pay attention to the historical, psychological, economic and cultural background of the story. This complex analysis will help you grab the message of the text inasmuch as people had different problems, values and worldview in different periods. Their culture, preferences and interests were different too.

  6. Evaluate the Stylistic Devices and Conclude the Analysis. You should observe the book from the side of its style. Find all possible metaphors, hyperboles and personifications in order to emphasize its artistic value. Ultimately, you can summarize the review and point out at the strong and weak sides of the book. Say what you like and dislike about the chosen text. Will you recommend other students to read it?

Good luck with writing your analysis essay! We hope these guidelines provided by  SmartWritingService  will help you!

May 18, 2016

Direct Response vs Brand Advertising in today's digital age

 

 

Direct Response vs Brand Advertising in today's digital age

New studies suggest that direct response is trending upwards at the expense of brand advertising. Marketers appear to be responding to the trend across North America, where proudly sporting brands and logos has become a thing of the past. I remember when a Roots sweater and Adidas shell-toe shoes were on everyone's back-to-school shopping list. Apparently, those days are fading away as consumers’ decisions are increasingly based on social consciousness, or what the brand is doing for the greater good - and those same consumers love sharing their goodwill with their social circles. It’s a significant shift in attitude towards brands. If the shift is industry-wide, you might even wonder: is ad-blocking’s popularity a symptom of the slow dissolution of brand loyalty?

In any case, direct-response seems to be the way to weather the change.

Digital Advertising Trends 2016 Report: In a recent survey of Canadian senior marketers, numbers showed a trend away from brand-focused advertising messages

The Culture Vulture: 2015 Trends Report:The appetite for wearing big logos is waning.

A short terminology review:

Direct response advertising is designed to generate an instant response from the viewer. For digital advertising, the intended response might be a website visit to purchase or sign-up. Unlike brand advertising, the emphasis is on the immediate action. Anytime you see a button with “Find out more”, “Book now!”, or “Shop now!”, you’re looking at a direct-response ad. “See if you qualify!” And “Exclusive Offer” are common calls-to-action.

Direct-response, as you can see, has been around a long time… it's been used to sell everything from accordions to newsprint jackets - they're the NEW RAGE!


As for brand advertising, I think Elon Musk defines it well:

Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time. Sometimes it will be ahead, other times it will be behind. But brand is simply a collective impression some have about a product.- Elon Musk

Regardless of how or why brand advertising is falling away, the new preference for direct-response marketing means that agencies and advertisers will need the help of their ad tech to measure how consumers respond to a variety of calls to action, in order to optimize their strategy.

The difference between direct-response marketing now and back in the days of the newsprint jacket is that marketers today have to navigate multiple screens and advertising platforms. As a result, they also have the added challenge of staying focused on the original campaign objective, or risk being buried under a mountain of data. When you’re tracking performance, your campaign results increase in complexity as time goes on. This is especially true of programmatic campaigns. Marketers are challenged to stay focused, pivoting performance and audience data around their main goal. Thankfully, the main goal in a direct-response campaign is usually a fairly straight-forward conversion. Measurement of conversions cross-device and cross-channel is yet another hurdle, so support teams and APIs have also become part of the modern digital solution.

As we've seen over many generations, the weight-loss industry has message and urgency down to an art.

My feeling is that advertising is steadily becoming about the personal satisfaction consumers get from their brand commitments in the larger picture, and this is fueling the preference toward direct-response. After all, social media accounts are essentially showcases for personal brands, so with every buying decision, people are subconsciously asking themselves How can clicking on this ad elevate my brand? or What does supporting this product say about me (to my online network)?.

It’s easy to see how the new generation of savvy, bold consumers want more than just the allure of a brand name. These consumers know that their attention is valuable, and direct-response campaigns are a way to acknowledge that value. Just like the accordion sellers of yore, brands today can use creativity and boldness to build instant, meaningful connections with their markets – and perhaps they can even develop their own social consciousness at the same time.

Guest article by AdGear Technologies, Inc.

 

March 11, 2016

Thinking about Revamping your Digital Marketing? Try Social Media.

Internet Marketing has changed and improved so much over the past few years that companies and marketers must now rethink their entire marketing approach. Not so long ago, the whole definition of internet marketing could be summed up to basically place some paid ads here and there and then just hope someone would click on them, but those days are over. However, we're not trying to undermine the effectiveness of paid ads along the web, but there are several other variables to take into consideration, and we will focus on Social Media and some of its remarkable facts and stats.

Social Media Marketing is the hottest trend today, but as a newly discovered marketing tool, its dynamics are still a little tricky to understand. So it comes as no surprise that Social Media ads only represent about 14% of the total amount of digital ads around the globe, but this number is growing really fast.

Proof of it is that in 2015, the total investment made on social media ads surpassed the stunning mark of US$ 25.14 billion on a global scale. But what's really more impressive is the 63% growth expected by 2017, up to a total of US$ 41 billion. In Canada these numbers are nothing short of breath-taking as well, 2015 saw the expenditure of CA$ 563.4 million in 2015 and is expecting a CA$ 834.8 million total expenditure by 2017.

 

Dominant Market Players.

We have seen how important Social Media Marketing will be over the next few years, but where exactly should you, as marketers, focus your attention? It really will depend on your targeted (and retargeted) audience. But here are some numbers that will give you a heads-up.

One of the newest members in the whole online advertising game, Facebook is arguably also the most successful one. In 2015, the Menlo Park giant reported a US$ 17.08 billion total revenue from online ads. Sure, but how is that relevant to marketers and companies looking to invest in online ads?

Here's why: Desktop Facebook Ads have an 8.1x higher Click-Through Rate (CTR) than regular web ads, and on mobile it's 9.1x higher as well. That is remarkable, and it goes to show us that Facebook will provide our companies with so much more exposure than the rest of the Internet could.

The undisputed pioneer in this business, Twitter, is also a very strong contender. In 2015 alone, they reported a US$ 2.03 billion revenue in online ads, but what's more interesting about this number is where it came from. Mobile ads account for 86% of their total ad revenue, and it might have something to do with what Twitter does very well, engagement.

Promoted Tweets create a significantly higher engagement rate than the rest of online ads, and they do so by targeting highly specific audiences and providing them with content they would almost certainly be interested in. Other options to consider are Instagram, Youtube, and most recently, Snapchat.

 

Who Should Consider Social Media Marketing?

Honestly, everyone, and especially those companies which are offering products and/or services targeted to millennials. Fun fact, the freelancing working force is growing exponentially around the globe, and millennials are leading the charge in this pursuit for economic growth. Unsurprisingly, finance companies like CMC Markets who specialize in online trading are also investing heavily in Social Media Marketing.

These companies are empowering the new generation to take control over their lives by not only offering them their services as trading platforms, but also a financial independence ideal, and a wholly integrated environment to achieve just that. In such a globalized world like the one we're living in today, conventional marketing - while still very important - is rapidly losing ground to its more massive digital counterpart.

January 20, 2016

5 Ways to Use Social Media to Enhance your SEO

Are you integrating Social Media into your marketing efforts? Well, you should, because it has the power to increase your search engine ranking.

Until recently, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media marketing were seen as Jan 18two separate fields. But, thanks to the many algorithm changes Google has gone through, nowadays SEO means more than just ranking well in Google. Of course, a good keyword strategy is still paramount, but search engine optimization isn’t just confined to Google or Bing. Social Media also plays a valuable role and, if done right, it can improve your search engine ranking.

Here’s how to improve your search engine ranking using Social Media.

  • SEO Means More Than Just On Page and Off Page Optimization

SEO means more than just ranking good in Google, and smart marketers know that. Due to the many algorithm changes, SEO has become more human-friendly. The number of keywords you shove into your website is not as relevant as it used to be, and Google cares more about connections and shares than it cares about keyword density.

SEO is a complex practice, integrating high-quality content from different platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and so on and so forth. According to recent data, Facebook has more than 1.44 billion monthly active users, Twitter has over 550 million accounts, and 72 hours of new video content are being added to YouTube every minute of the day. With numbers like these, it would be crazy to ignore Social Media’s power and influence on rankings.

  • Link-building Through Social Media

Building links used to be difficult and time-consuming – it involved contacting other webmasters and searching for links opportunities. Nowadays, social shares are the new link building method.

Here’s an example: imagine that you are a photographer, and you’ve started a new project. You share your new project on your Social Media platforms, maybe on Instagram and Twitter. Your post gets shared 30 times on Twitter, and it gets a couple of hundreds of Likes on Instagram. A big blogger comes across your post and decides to share it as well. Then, a major publication sees the blogger’s share and decides to write an article about your work, linking back to your website. The simple fact that you’ve shared your work on Social Media led to backlinks from authority sites.

But, here’s the twist – not every post you share will help you gain links from popular sites. To be able to build links, you will need to find and create valuable and informative content that people want to share.

  • A Growing Social Media Fan Base = More Search Query Volume

If you are looking for ways on how to improve your Google ranking, building a strong Social Media fan base can be a great start. With Social Media, you can reach potential customers, connect with them and build trust. It is a great way to increase brand awareness and to get more people interested in your brand.

When Google sees more and more people searching for your brand, it deduces that it is extremely popular and improves your search engine ranking.

  • You Can Boost Relevant Keywords Through Social Media

You don’t have to spend exorbitant amounts of money to improve your SEO. There are simpler, smarter things you can do. For example, here’s how to increase keyword ranking through Social Media.

You probably know already how important it is to have a killer keyword strategy to make a website rank higher. But, did you know that sharing these keywords throughout your Social Media platforms can improve your search ranking? Here’s how: when creating your Social Media profiles, make sure to add as much relevant information about your business as possible, such as the name, URL, bio, contact information and your primary keywords.

Using your keywords when you are posting content across Social Media is another great way to improve your keyword ranking.

  • Social Media Platforms Are Search Engines, Too

Nowadays, people don’t use just Google or Bing to look things up. Think about it, if you are looking for information about a brand, it is entirely possible you will be using Facebook’s search option and scroll through their posts to get an idea of how trustworthy the brand is. Furthermore, platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and even Facebook use hashtags to monitor how many times a post is being shared, or a word is being looked up and so on.

As search engines become more and more human-friendly, and social media is becoming popular, a marketing strategy integrating the two of them is paramount. Both of them matter, and they can help you improve your search engine ranking.

Corey Jansen is from Executive SEO Inc a leader in search engine optimization corey@executiveseoinc

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