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Posts Tagged ‘Social Media Optimization’

The Importance of the Network

June 30, 2013 4 comments

The Importance of Networking

The book Linked by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi simple aim is to get the reader to think network.

Albert-Laszlo Barabasi Book Linked

One of the interesting points of the book is the understanding that networks do not just exist in the realm of digital communications but are incorporated in the formation of international conglomerates, bacteria pandemics, terrorist organizations and cocktail parties. It becomes obvious through Barabasi’s examples that if anything interacts with any other thing, then there is a network.

There is no doubt that mathematicians, statisticians, nuclear scientist and sociologist would be able to discover something important to their work from this book. The book covers the growth of networking theory from the early Christian travels of Paul up to 2003 when the manuscript was first published.

As I am not involved in scientific research I have focused my attention on Barabasi’s insight into networking as it pertains to the opportunities in web design and structure of web sites. One of the earliest points that resonated with me was on page 31. There Barabasi states that “The strength of the web lies in its ability to string together individual documents into a huge network.”
network examples
Although most people involved in internet development these days should know this, I thought it was an interesting point coming from the observations of a physicist. Barabasi reiterates this point on page 57, where he states “That in order to be read you have to be visible.” As we all have learned that the more incoming links you have pointed to your website the more visible your website will be. If we think in terms of search bots, most websites with fewer than three back-linking documents are ignored. They simply do not exist.
Consider that six out of 10 pages are not visited by search engines; the likely hood of a page being index depends on its incoming links. Documents with only one incoming link will have only a 10% of chance of being indexed. Whereas documents with 20 or more links will have a 90% chance of being indexed.

illustrations of network connectionsThe importance of inbound linking is not only important to being bot searched and indexed but it is also important in the reach of ideas of information.

Barabasi presents an example of the importance of cohesive networking on page 172. Here Barabasi includes the research of Lada Adamic of Stanford University. Adamic explored the effectiveness of an integrated network of sites that share common interest. The research compared the sites of Pro-Choice and Pro-Life websites. Adamic concluded that the sites of Pro-Life were more collectively inter-connected by a tightly built network of shared links. It is because of this network that Pro-Life advocates could operate more effectively than Pro-Choice groups. Adamic suggested that legislation directed toward Pro-Life causes would have a greater degree of success than the efforts of Pro-Choice. The strongest network would hold the advantage.

Albert-Laszlo Barabasi

Since the writings of this book are now over ten years old, most of the theories of Barabasi are not new or earth shattering. I still think it is important to revisit the ideas. The book Linked reminds me of how interconnected we are and how if we maintain the importance of being connected our endeavor will be successful. It also sparked an idea for an experiment. My request, in order for you to participate in the grand experiment, is for you to create similar relevant content. Within the content of your post from a blog or website, incorporate a back-link to this post. Within the back-link have the anchor be: <a href=”http://wp.me/pYrnR-56″>The Importance of Networking.</a> Perhaps if done effectively the ideas of this post will not remained invisible.

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Do the Dog Bowl Test On Your Website

February 10, 2013 2 comments

Can your website stand up against the Dog Bowl Test?

Using the dog bowl test for websites

Implementation Of The Dog Bowl Test


If you want to drawl traffic to your website use the Dog Bowl Test to discover how effective your site is in attracting visits. If you are not familiar with the Dog Bowl Test read on to find out how you can implement this fool proof test for your site.

First get a dog, the bigger and hungrier the better. Then get a bowl, the size is not relative to the experiment. Next write the name of your website on the bowl, anywhere where it would be visible. Now place that bowl down in front of the big hungry waiting dog and observe.

    The reactions that you want to observe and record are:

  • Does the dog see the bowl
  • Does the dog approach the bowl
  • After the dog approaches the bowl
    • Does the dog seem interested
    • How long does the dog stay at the bowl
    • Does the dog just sniff and bounce away
    • Does the dog look up at you with the expression; “Is this it?”

After noting this data and recording it for reference, place something in the bowl. Preferably something you have observed that the dog has indicated it favors; something like kibble, something from your dinner plate like a nice juicy piece of steak.

Now observe the dog and record the same reactions as were in the previous step. Evaluate if the reactions are different and how they are different. The outcome of the test should indicate that unless there is something in the bowl that is a need of the dog, there would be very little interest in the bowl with a name on it. If your results are similar to the proposed outcome you should consider evaluating your site to ascertain if you are relying heavily on just name recognition or are you filling your website pages with content that delivers a need and fulfills an interest.

This experiment may be reproduced with a cat but most observations have concluded that cats are more finicky than dogs and may not take interest in your bowl not matter what you put in it.

How Accurate Is Google Ranking?

October 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Google has created a club that everyone wants to be a member of.

 

Every one using social media wants to be number one on Google or at least get to the first page and Google has devoted much of their press to creating the idea that Google ranking is important. However I had an interesting experience when discussing a social media campaign with a real estate client. I had completed some research on the client’s site with a keyword phrase through SEOMoz’s page ranking tool

logo for seomoz

SeoMoz’s page ranking tool.

http://www.seomoz.org/rank-tracker and determined that the real estate business was ranked numbered 45 for the phrase. Of course this means that anyone searching with the phrase would have to go through 44 listings before seeing the realtor and most web surfers would probably not search past the first three pages.

During my meeting with the realtor we accessed her site several times as I discussed and advised on improvements to design, content and engagement for the site. At the end we did a final search by the keyword phrase to check out the competition, surprisingly their site was listed at the third place spot on the first page.

I was a little surprised at this since we had not made any changes to the site until I saw under the listing there was the line showing “You have accessed this site 18 times.” It was the first time I had seen this line and it is a line that still does not show up for me in Internet Explorer, but it was obvious that the site had been moved up based on the usage either through the browser cache or through Google tracking the activity and displaying results based on the personal usage of that specific computer.

Which means the ranking of the site for that keyword search had not changed except for that user on that computer? Now you might just say “So what?” as I did, at the moment. However after thinking about it later I realized that this could be a devious tool in the wrong hands.

After all it would be possible to access a prospective client’s site before meeting with them on your own laptop, or IPad and rank the client’s site to the first page on your device. Then when you meet with the client asked them to do a search for their site on their device, talk about what you could change for them, pretend to make changes from your device and then do a search from your device and show them that they are now on the first page.

It is not something that I would do and I am sure no one else would do something so underhanded but I am just saying that there is more than one way to get into the Google club.

Likes, Pins, Follow Me

September 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Likes, Pins, Follow Me

The social trend on LinkedIn groups is the promotion of exchanging Facebook Likes, Pinterest Repins and Twitter Follow Mes. The question I have for everyone is; Is it enough? How effective is this approach with Google pushing content and Facebook deleting “ Fake Likes” from accounts. How much engagement does this create in traffic and back links.

I think it is a good first step in developing traffic to your pages but I would suggest we carry it a step further. I would like to suggest that we exchange campaign marketing to develop cross promotion networking. This would be an exchange of meaningful content and the development of true content back linking. Consider the process that is accepted now, we have groups of SEO and SMM professionals who are asking other SEO and SMM professionals to exchange LIKEs; how does this help the promotion of products or services? Should’nt we as professionals be asking for exchanges that will benefit our clients? We should be engaging in exchanges that will serve our clients through cross promotions of marketing campaigns.

If a SMM manager has a client that wants to sell shoes and I have a client that wants to sell handbags, I would agree to follow the shoe client and would Tweet about the shoes with information exchanged from the SMM manager that follows the shoe campaign’s direction, and the SMM manager would do the same for my handbag client.

    The steps of Cross Promotion Exchange would be done in simple steps.

  • SMM manager request help with a client’s campaign
  • Campaign is described by product or service and marketing focus
  • Other SMM managers agree to post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blogs and Pinterest or any other relevant media outlet
  • As part of the agreement the benefiting SMM manager agrees to recpricate for each manager who has posted for them

The big difference here is that LIKES, PINS, and FOLLOWS can still be exchanged but exchanged with content, engagement and purpose. The following list is a list of groups that I belong to on LinkedIn and as you can see there are over 500,000 members which is not a count of their possible clients. That is over 500,000 opportunities to cross promote marketing campaigns. The resources here are incredible and the ability to create a buzz for a client are almost without limits.

  • Inbound Marketers – For Marketing Professionals 83,692 members
  • Link Building and SEO UK 978 members
  • Media and Marketing Community 17,409 members
  • Pinterest Networking Group 828 members
  • SEO Professionals Group 3,123 members
  • Social Media Marketing 448,052 members
  • Twitter, Google-Plus, and Facebook for Sourcing and Recruiting 14,497 members
    • That is 568,579 members. There has to be someone else out there beside me who would like help to create a buzz for a client.

      If anyone in any of these groups would like to test this process out I am eager to provide my clients with true back linking content exchange. Got Buzz? Of course you could just LIKE ME.

Using Google to Analyze Your Goals

the qr databook logo for all medical information The QR Databook logo[/caption]Every website has a goal, its purpose for being. The purpose for QR Databook.com is to offer anyone a convenient method to carry their entire medical history with them wherever they go. The goal of the site is to have someone complete the interest form which will be used to collect the data to create a QR Databook. If your site has a goal that is important to track you will then need a means to monitor if the goal is being met. This is one of the services provided by using Google Analytics.

an image of the google analytic's page

Google Analytic

Google Analytics provides the means to track multiple usage type of traffic to your site. You can track how much traffic is coming to your site, where it is coming from, how time a viewer spends on your site and if a goal is being met. As with QR Databook.com, the goal is to find out how many viewers check out the “requestformnew” page.

If your site has similar goals the first step is to establish a Google Analytics account. In order to use Google Analytics, you’ll need to set up an account with them. If you already have a gmail account you are already one step closer to using the analytical services. This will provide you with a unique identifier to add to your site. You can only access information about your own site.

You will not be allowed access to information for other sites unless the site owner explicitly grants it to you. The only people with access to your information will be yourself, and those you give special permissions to. 

Go to the Google Analytics website (Google.com/Analytics). If you have a Google account already, use your email address and password to sign in. 

  1. Click the Sign Up button to continue.
  2. In the next window, provide Google with the URL of the site you wish to analyze.
  3. Give the site an account name that is easy to remember. If you will be tracking multiple sites, this is especially important.
  4. Select the country your site is based in, or the country it is serving. Then select the appropriate time zone. 
  5. Click Continue.
  6. In the next window, provide your contact information.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. In the next window, read the Google Analytics terms of service. If you agree with them, click the Yes box.
  9. Click Create New Account.

Google will provide you with a block of code. Copy this – you’ll need to insert it into your web site. You must insert the code that Google Analytics provides you with into every page you want tracked. This will help when you want to measure how people move from one page of your site to another. If you understand how to edit HTML, this block of code must go between the HEAD TAG of each page. If you are using a service like WordPress, you’ll need to open the footer.php file to place this code.

The moment you set up your account and insert Google’s JavaScript into your pages, Google Analytics will be ready to provide you with charts that will give you an overview of your site’s performance. However the service may take up to 24 hours to begin gathering data for your site. 

The main information I track is the Visits, Traffic Sources and Bounce Rate. Visits maintain the number of viewers, Traffic Sources will define where the traffic originated from and Bounce Rate gauges how long viewers stay on your site. 

If you have planned a campaign through Twitter, FaceBook or a Blog the Traffic Sources Overview will define how many of your visitors came from those other sites. This can be used to qualify how well your campaign is accomplishing driving traffic to your site.

The Bounce Rate gauges if traffic sticks to your site or just bounce away. This is one of the reasons why it is important to place your Google Analytics code on every page, other wise if the viewer moves from a page on your site to another page on your site that does not have the code; it will appear as though the viewer has left your site. A good bounce rate is open to opinion but on average a good rate is from 30% to 50%. This percentage is the amount of traffic that leaves your site after viewing an entrance page. The lower the bounce rate number the better the stickiness of your site. 

image of google analytic admin button

Google Analytic admin button

To establish a goal; select the admin menu item from the top menu bar and then click on the Goals tab. You can set up to 20 goals, select one of the goal set links to create your goal. As was mentioned above a goal for QR Databook is to track how many users land on the “requestformnew” page. The goal was named Interest Form and the URL was selected as the Goal type. The URL was set as /requestformnew.php as it is not necessary to include the entire page path from the domain to the page. This information was saved and then added to the main Dashboard as the Dashboard can be customized to fit your needs. 

Google Analytics provides important data for web site owners to track however I am in the process of learning and I am not yet an expert on everything Analytic but I do encourage you to sign up an begin your own goals analysis. 

Do you have a favorite set up for Google Analytics? Please share.

Web Site Development

How I tested the art of Search Engine Optimization.

GoDaddy - World's #1 Domain Registrar
The first step to optimizing a website is to establish a website. My choice for hosting a website has been to use Go Daddy. It is fairly simple to purchase a domain and a hosting account with Go Daddy and for me it has been affordable. I usually choose the Linux account because I want to be able to develop the backend database in PHP.

I developed the logo and the tag line “Your Data When You Need It!” for the website.

logo for the QR DataBook

Your data when you need it.

There is an abundance of information from experts on how to optimized websites for search engines. The goal is to have a high ranking site so that those who are searching for information will be led to your site first. Some of my favorite sites for SEO articles are Hubspot, Sherpa and the Social Media Examiner. I have collected many articles from these sites and now I want to use this information to test the theories of the experts. Some web designers prefer to design the website then develop the Search Engine Optimization. My research has concluded that most exports agree that SEO is an integral piece of the website design and it should be incorporated from the beginning of the project’s process. Most websites are driven by content and content is the message or idea that is being delivered to the user. The design of the website will be driven by the most efficient way to deliver the content to the user. Once you have a clear understanding of what the website’s mission is the design is initiated from there and the parts of the website such as page titles, meta description tags and navigation will merely be a redundancy of your goal and will begin to establish your SEO direction.

I would like to add to my sources of information so if you have a site or know of a site that provides SEO information please feel free to post them in the comment.

The Medical Information Project Continues

April 17, 2012 4 comments

I had begun to think of how my father-in-law could carry his information with him without having to have a large document or to have to access the internet. I remember reading an article earlier about data being imbedded in a graphic symbol using a QR Code. The QR Code according to the article could hold up to four thousand characters and could be small enough to fit on a credit card size card.

I felt this could be a good solution for carrying medical information. It was convenient in size and the QR Code in its nature would offer some privacy since the information would have to be read using a QR reader. It would also allow the information to be shared without the need to connect to the internet. It would provide the carrier a personal database that could be carried on his or her person at all times.

The solution was convenient in size and easily accessible. The next steps would be to research QR Codes and to develop a system that would incorporate the code in a easily accessible form.

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