Why I Love Keywords (And You Should, Too!)

I have seen rumours lately that SEO is dead. Maybe that makes sense because of the continuous changes being made by Google to their algorithms (basically formulas that provide the results they display). But I disagree. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is here to stay. And I can prove it to you.

When you are trying to find a hair salon in Chicago because you are speaking at an event and your hair is driving you crazy. Where do you look? If you are like most of us, you will grab your phone or computer and type in Best Hair Salon in Chicago. The search engine you use (my go to is always Google) will give you a list of possibilities. Now how are these particular business showing up? Well, because they have optimized their websites and listings with search engines in mind.

I know that the term SEO can send people running, but I would like you to take a step back and think about the keywords themselves… not SEO.

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So what are keywords anyway?  Keywords can be a single word, or group of words, that are really search terms that help us find information on what we are looking for. Generally these words, or combination of words have been identified as being used by our potential customers, when they are searching online.

Here are 3 reasons why I love keywords and you should too:

  1. Keywords make it easy for your audience to find you: Use words that your desired clientele would be looking for, so that they don’t have to do extra work to weed out websites that are not relevant to them.
  1. Keywords can help build your expert status: Utilize keywords throughout your social networking posts. Identifying the topic that you are sharing information about will begin to grow your social proof, and result in you becoming a “go-to” expert in that area.
  1. Keywords can take you to the top of google search returns: Be known for what you speak about, what service you provide, and how you provide solutions. Incorporating keywords in your overall online presence, from websites/blogs to social media to social networking bios to book titles and descriptions, you can increase your chances of being found at the top of the search engines returns.

By making determining the right keywords, to attract the right audience, you will begin to see higher and higher conversion.

Last year when I was contacted by a lovely lady in the spa service industry, her biggest complaint was that she just wasn’t getting any traction with her website. Bookings tended to be word of mouth and she wasn’t showing up in the first 10 pages in Google search returns. After doing some research to determine how people were currently finding her, keyword research and some competitive analysis, we made changes that resulted in her regularly showing up near the top of the first page. I was just speaking with her last week, and she is incredibly busy now.

So, once you are clear on the results you are trying to achieve and who your ideal client is, your online presence can soar.

 

5 Blogging Tips to Help You Connect with Your Ideal Client

Business blogEntrepreneur and best-selling author, Dave Kerpen once wrote that “Writing a blog is an excellent way to become a better writer, drive leads for a business and express oneself.” I couldn’t agree more. I’m positive that since I started my own blog 5 years ago, I’ve become a better writer. And I have gotten new clients from my blog because they told me that the information I shared was valuable to them.

If you haven’t started a blog yet, or you’re not consistently blogging, here are a few tips to make the process easier.

Write from the Heart – Many small business owners don’t blog because they feel they’re not good writers. Yet these same people will go to a networking meeting and happily talk about their products or services when asked. Write as if you’re talking with a good friend. Don’t obsess over grammar or spelling. If you have time, proofread your work. But if you don’t, publish the article anyway. You can always go back later and tweak it to your heart’s content.

The Power of One – Focus on one topic per blog article. If you have too many ideas in your post, it will just confuse the reader. And it will take you that much longer to get the article written. If you have a lot to say on a certain subject, you can always break the article up into a series. This is a great way to get your readers coming back to your blog again. Bonus tip: Include a link to the previous article and next article in the series.

They Ask, You Answer – Not sure what to write about? Answer your customers’ questions! Focus your articles on these three criteria: costs, problems and comparisons. People want to know how much your products or services cost, so why not tell them? You don’t have to be specific necessarily, but you can at least give a range. Don’t be afraid to address any problems with your product or service either. The more honest you are, the more inclined people will be to trust you. Another great tactic is to compare your product/service with a competitor. Your customer is doing this research online anyway. Wouldn’t it be better if they read your article first?

Variety is the Spice of Life – Liven up your blog with pictures and/or videos. Images are more visually interesting for the reader and will keep them engrossed in your copy. Plus, if you include a Pin it button for Pinterest, it will encourage your reader to share your content on their Pinterest account.

Know Your Call to Action – If you’re writing a blog to promote your business, don’t forget to include a call to action at the end of each article. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Visit our website for more information
  • Email us for a quote
  • What do you think? Share your comments below
  • Sign up for our newsletter
  • Register for our webinar
[success]Get more useful blogging tips like these during my Social Buzz Club webinar called Blog Like a Winner on Thursday, May 22.[/success]

Mastering Google Hangouts with Renae Christine

renae2

We’re delighted to share this exclusive vlog post with our readers! 

[success]Join us for Renae’s webinar at Social Buzz U on Thursday, February 27, 2014! Details are here… and it’s free![/success]

Main points from the video

1. Free traffic

Your video is not only shown on the main on air Google hangouts page.

Your video’s get serious SEO juice on both the Google search engine and YouTube for the keywords you put into the title of your Google hangout.

This is a temporary jump that lasts for about a day so the more Google hangouts the better.

2. The “smooth” setting

This one setting makes everyone instantly look 20 years younger.

It can build your self confidence instantly.

So no more excuses about not going live.

3. No editing

Google does all the work for you.

So you can have guests, do product reviews or live tutorials or even chat live with your audience.

Your audience won’t mind any tiny mistakes and blunders because they appreciate the fact that it’s live and they can interact with you.

4. Download your hangout as an mp4 after processing.

Holy downloads Batman!

Yes, simply go to your YouTube.com video manager then click the arrow next to the live episode you want to download

5. Add your Google hangout to an itunes podcast effortlessly.

All you need to do this is the mp4 you just finished downloading, a wordpress blog and the wordpress plugin called powerpress.

6. Use Google hangouts to host your next public webinar

You no longer need to have registrations for your webinars and you can now host your webinars right inside your website or blog or even an email … or Facebook page … or Twitter … or … wherever.

Your Google Hangout On Air can be embedded anywhere that accepts html.

I’ll show you how to do this later.

7. Use Google hangouts to host your next private webinar

But wait Renae, I thought we could only add a limited number of people to a private webinar via Google hangouts?

Nope.

Simply create a separate YouTube channel that no one knows about, broadcast the webinar from that channel but embed it into whatever website, blog post you like and give people the appropriate passcodes for that site.

Sound complicated?

Then join me at my Social Buzz Club webinar called Mastering Google Hangouts where we will go through all the complicatedness of Google Hangouts and dumb it down making it as easy as eating strawberry rhubarb pie

I love strawberry rhubarb pie

Thumbs up this video if you love pie!

[success]Remember… The Social Buzz Club Webinar will air on February 27th at 11 am pst. Register NOW to attend free![/success]

Love you all.

Peace out yo!

X0X0 Renae

How to Add Your Picture in Google’s Search Results

Have you been searching in Google and come across search results that have pictures of faces in them?

Like this (search phrase: Does social media marketing grow business):

blogpostsearchresultlorigama

And this: (search phrase: LinkedIn marketing an hour a day)

vivanddonna

That’s just Google making sure that your content is YOUR content. The official reason is “to help users discover great content,” says Google. 

With more and more people creating content, curating content, and yes, even, copying other people’s content, you’ve got to make sure you’ve added your authorship rank code to your content so Google knows it’s yours. The authorship rank code is like your fingerprint. When you tie your Google+ profile to your website and/or blog, you’re basically adding today’s equivalent of your unique fingerprint.

Here’s how you can get your picture in Google’s search results:

Here’s how you can get your picture in Google’s search results:

Google has made it extremely simple for you to show your picture in your search results.

First, you have to have a Google+ profile. Yes, it’s Google’s sandbox so we have to play by their rules.

Go here to set up your Google+ profile if you have not done so already.

You can go to this link: http://bit.ly/18HefA0 and simply add your email address but be sure the email address is your domain.

Example: name@myname.com

Go to this link to do this now: http://bit.ly/18HefA0

This next step involves adding code into your website’s homepage:

Here’s how: follow the steps in this screenshot below, taken from Google’s section on how to link to your Google+ profile using rel-“author”.

Google wants to make this simple for you so there is a warning that tells you “The easiest and most reliable way to enable authorship information in Google search results is to provide a verified email address on the same domain as your content. If you don’t have an email address on the same domain, however, you can associate your content with your Google+ profile by following the steps on this page.” And below that are the instruction for the rel=”author” two-step process:

link-to-your-Google+-profile-using-rel-author

– From Google’s Help Section

Google wants to establish authorities on subjects and is using the number of circles you’re in plus how interactive you are in posting in Google+ when deciding who to make visible in the top search results for keywords. So now is an opportune time for you, the subject matter expert of YOUR subject, to strategically position yourself early on while the majority of people lag behind.

The most important steps to take after you’ve established your authorship is to optimize your Google+ profile; start consistently engaging and sharing relevant posts; and get in as many relevant circles as you can. How do you do all this? I wrote a blog post about Google+ when I was part of the BETA group the summer before Google rolled it out publicly. The advice I shared back then still stands. Read my Google+ blog post.

If you create content, you simply have to add your fingerprint to it (in the form of your authorship rank) or risk being invisible, un-findable, and un-authoritative about your subject matter.

LEARN MORE FROM LORI – register for her free webinar at SocialBuzzU on July 11, 2013 (or catch the replay when you become a member!).

 

Internet Resources to Market Your Business Locally

how are you connected?According to Google, 97% of people who frequent local businesses find them through the Internet first. Are your customers and prospects finding you?

What can you do to reach out online to local people in your own backyard?

It used to be that a large printed book of yellow pages was what consumers consulted when they needed to find a photographer, bookkeeper or realtor. If they weren’t sure where to go for art supplies, books or pizza, they let their fingers do the walking. The vast majority of today’s consumers locally and globally, however, turn to online searches and internet directories to find what they are looking for. Within a few seconds they are given information about the closest service provider, restaurant or shop, along with real time customer reviews, ratings and “buzz” that influences their decision on which business to patronize.

Making sure that your business shows up in the search results is determined by whether or not you have your town, county or region listed on your website, blog, or social media profiles, as well as if you have a presence on several of the social networks online that are geared toward serving a local clientele. The following resources will get you started in creating more local doorways into your business.

List Your Business Online

Yelp is the most popular business rating, feedback and referral social network and because of its popularity, when your business is listed, your listing will have a powerful presence on the web. Past customers and clients can write reviews and testimonials on your business profile, and potential new customers can find you, learn more about your business, and contact you. The community of Yelp users is expansive and social, and connections are readily exposed to their friends’ favorite businesses. Since Yelp users are directed to businesses closest to their chosen metropolitan area, local people are drawn to you and share your information with other local people. When filling out a business owner profile on Yelp, be sure to thoroughly describe yourself, your business and your company mission, and include all of the extras such as photos of your product or service in action, and any special offers or announcements.

Merchant Circle network is a stand-alone community geared toward connecting local independent businesses with their neighbors. Their platform allows businesses to create mini-websites, blogs, coupons and newsletters – free. Consumers for whom it is important to use local business instead of chain stores or franchises appreciate being able to depend on Merchant Circle to steer them toward truly local, responsive companies, who offer them incentives to do business with them. Emails to your local neighborhood go out on a regular basis, and your business information or coupon is included. Whether you have a website or blog already, creating a presence on Merchant Circle is another powerful way to engage with your local community.

Meetup.com is another way to get extra local and online exposure, as well as being very highly indexed by search engines.When you join Meetup as a member, you can browse any number of topics and find local gatherings to join. Some are weekly, some are monthly. Some are just for some, and some are business oriented. When you join an established Meetup, you create a bio or profile that can be linked to your business information and website. This profile and any activity within the Meetup page is also visible to outside search engines. To get even more visibility, consider organizing your own Meetup (for a fee) or list a current group or workshop you conduct via Meetup’s system.

Google, Yahoo and Bing Local Business Listings

Each of the three major search engines have local business listings where you can create a complete profile that outlines your business description, location, web addresses, categories and photos. Take the time to submit your home business listing to Yahoo, Google and Bing LOCAL.

http://local.yahoo.com
http://local.google.com
http://local.bing.com

Customers can rate your service, leave a review or testimonial, and share your profile with their contacts. Creating a local account on the search engines requires verification by phone or mail and that adds credibility to each of the listings, since people know that the businesses listed are verified to be who they say they are. Since these directories are associated with each search engine, having a presence there means that your listing is bumped to the top of search results when someone in your area uses the search engine to find someone who does what you do.

Get Involved in Local Groups Through Social Media

Most major social media platforms have a local component to them. There are Facebook Groups, and LinkedIn Groups. Twitter has Hashtags you can follow and post in, and Pinterest has boards people have created about their local area. Use the search function to locate groups that are already discussing local issues, or sharing tips and ideas about a specific city or region. Jump into the conversation and share your own ideas, and you will start to make new contacts who share that interest. If there isn’t already a group for your local area, consider starting one yourself and you will attract others who like to network locally online.

There’s More…

As you can see there are many resources available for those who want to leverage the power of the Internet and the search engines but really want to target people in their own area. I’ve shared just a few of my favorites here. To take a deeper dive into the how-to’s of these and more, get my ‘Going Local Online’ webinar at Social Buzz U.

 

karen_white199x300An expert in social media and Internet marketing for entrepreneurs, Karen Clark uses her 14 years’ experience in online marketing to meet people where they are and show them how to attract new business, foster loyalty by serving, and stay true to their principles while building an ethical and effective online presence. Her focus is on using the Internet to connect with people, not collect people.