September 13, 2013

Can You Make Your “Boring” Company Feel Exciting Online?

Online Marketing Business Often, it seems as if the brands that get the most attention for their marketing campaigns are the ones that have an exciting product to sell. This can make many companies feel negative about their own marketing campaigns and the way they will be perceived online because they feel as if their products would be viewed as boring. If you feel like this about your business, do not give in because if you start seeing your product or service as boring, that negativity may start seeping into your marketing campaign.

Besides, think of the brands that often have the most exciting campaigns. Soda, deodorant, and alcohol really aren’t exciting in and of themselves. But those companies have spent enough time honing their image to be exciting so that their products in turn feel exciting.

A Positive Attitude

The excitement present in your online marketing starts within your company. If your workers have no enthusiasm for their services and products, then projecting an air of excitement will be a difficult task for them. Brainstorming ideas of how to maintain positivity and excitement within the office and then implementing them can go a long way. Afterward, hold meetings where your team discusses the image that should be put forward online.

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August 16, 2013

Taking Full Advantage of Your Company’s Presence on Social Media Sites

Every company with at least an interest in having a social media presence has put their brand online in at least one of the major social networking sites. While these businesses will not make nearly as much of an impact as those that wholeheartedly pursue a strong social media presence, even those who are trying to use just one site to its full extent may be overlooking important aspects.

These sites are meant to be easily used by any and all consumers, but also have deeper content and greater uses that are not known by everyone. If you are serious about using these sites in the social media marketing of your company, be aware of these aspects and consider their benefits.

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July 16, 2013

What is Social Media Marketing?

For most people, the phrase “social media marketing” conjures up images of Facebook likes and retweets. However, social media marketing is about more than just how popular you are on social media sites. Anyone who tells you otherwise probably doesn’t have a background in marketing, and may set you up for failure if you don’t keep the following points in mind.

It’s All About the Likes!

Up until Summer 2012, buying Facebook likes (or Twitter followers, or YouTube views, or Google+ Circles) was a relatively common practice that supposed “social media marketers” utilized in order to justify the fees they charged. Specifically, it was often preached that social media success was measured by how high you could get your follower count, and not based on the quality of the followers you were obtaining. While there may be a sliver of truth to that belief (only in the sense that a higher follower count increases exposure to some varying degree), it was, and still is, much better to focus on building a fan base that will further serve you as brand advocates. A brand advocate will not only preach your brand’s message, but it will greatly increase the chance that others are converted to believers in your product.

So ultimately, it’s never been about the sheer number of likes you have. Instead, it’s always been about the quality of fans you obtain (and for any brand starting out, friends and family should always be the FIRST group of likes to go after).

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July 2, 2013

What are the Specs for Facebook Cover Photos and Profile Pictures?

Pasadena Social Media MarketingSince Facebook’s transition to Timeline in early 2012, the social networking giant has embraced a much more visual layout. Cover photos, one of the most prominent features of Timeline, allow individual users to add a bit of personality to their online personas. This same feature was also extended to brands and businesses, although these pages do have some restrictions that come along with them.

For starters, it’s important to realize that cover photos are public. Anyone who visits your Facebook fan page, whether that person is a fan or not, is going to be able to see your cover photo. Next, it’s important to understand the intended use of cover photos is not to promote your contact information. That is, cover photos are supposed to display an image that represents your brand. This image cannot (or isn’t supposed to) contain more than 20% text, and formerly could not display contact information of any kind (per Facebook’s current terms of use as of July 2013, there is no longer mention of cover photos not being able to feature contact information, but it’s probably good practice to avoid images that include contact information just in case the rules revert back). Furthermore, brands are not allowed to encourage fans to upload and use brand cover photos on their own individual timelines.

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May 24, 2013

5 Things that Have Changed Internet Marketing & Website Development

The constant factor in the relationship between Internet marketing and website development is Change.

Whether you work in the field of online marketing or run a business, the evolution of content, SEO, web design, social, and local listings significantly impacts how a website is structured and how it targets visitors for conversion.

Since listing all of the changes that have occurred since the Internet’s inception would take until Thanksgiving, the below blog focuses on the main evolutionary changes that we’ve seen at SLS Consulting.

1. Write for Your Audience First – In the past, content was more about keyword stuffing, linking, and organization that appealed to the search engines for higher rankings. These tactics just don’t work anymore, or at least, they don’t last for long. Whether you’re creating content for your blog or website, putting writing for your audience before writing for the search engines is more effective for increasing visitors, lowering bounce rates, getting favorable search placement, and converting visitors into clients.

2. Quality Links Over Quantity – The amount of links you have isn’t always as important as the quality of those links. Linking quality is affected by the variety of phrases being linked and where the links are going. Search engine optimization is no longer about “how much,” but more about substance and tact. The change in SEO may be more time consuming, but with the waves of recent algorithm updates, it’s worth it for your website’s success to change how you optimize your site, blog, and on other platforms.

3. Simple & Responsive Design – Making a website easy to navigate and respond to the type of device being used has shaped how website designers cater to the needs of both the target audience, search engines, and the client’s preferences. Because so many people are using computers, laptops, iPads, smartphones, and other devices to browse the Internet, a website now has to adjust its design intuitively in order to keep the attention of and engage a visitor.

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May 16, 2013

Even Google+ Needs a Redesign

If you’re in the Internet marketing business or run your own company’s online campaign, you’ve probably heard about the 6th annual Google I/O conference in San Francisco that began yesterday and will last until May 17. Mainly targeted for software programmers, the developer conference has raised eyebrows and drawn the attention of many. One of the biggest highlights so far is the Google+ redesign.

If you’ve ever felt like a website redesign wasn’t worth your time or money, think again. If Google launches a redesign of its social platform, it shows us that there is always room for improvement.

To Redesign or Not to Redesign …

Coming from the company that mostly calls the shots as far as search engine results go, changing the look, features, and navigation of Google+ is a huge move. On that note, don’t jump into a redesign of your own website without giving it a lot of thought first. According to Mashable, 190 million users participate in the Google+ stream. That’s a lot of people to satisfy. Even if your audience isn’t that vast, one of the main things to focus on in a redesign, as shown by the below points, is improving the user experience.

The Google+ facelift is likely to plant a different image in people’s minds when they hear the phrase “social network,” maybe even replacing the brain’s automatic response to Facebook. The redesign is meant to keep up to speed with, and possibly even surpass, competitors like Facebook and Pinterest, or at least encourage Internet users to jump onto Google+ as well or more often.

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May 15, 2013

Hit by a Google Panda Update and Don’t Know Why? The Answer Might be in Your Content

Pasadena Content DevelopmentContrary to what you might think, Google’s ultimate goal isn’t to sabotage your website’s search engine rankings. What makes Google the powerhouse that it is rests in its desire for webmasters to create the best user experience possible. All of the recent and up-and-coming algorithm updates are structured with this objective in mind.

You have to remember that Google provides a service to the public. Whatever terms we enter into search, we expect to quickly and easily find the information that fits without having to do a lot of sifting through irrelevant or poorly written material.

While there are more components involved in a website having low search engine rankings than we can address in this one post, focusing on content provides us with a good starting point.

Putting the Microscope on “Quality”

Google looks down upon a wide range of short-cuts to get high search engine rankings. If your website contains a lot of duplicate content, for instance, it’s highly likely that this is why your site tanked after a Panda update. Some additional practices to avoid range from hiding links to keyword stuffing. Two of the biggest questions to consider that Google mentions on its quality guidelines for content are as follows:

"Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?"

Because Panda penalizes sites with content that is found on multiple pages within a site or on pages from other sites, this means that you have to write your own content and make it original. If you’re asking yourself who has the time to do that, then you’re not alone. Content creation does take time and it’s not just about the actual writing. You have to evaluate who your target audience is and understand what information they need the most. A solid grip on search engine optimization (SEO) also plays a role because you need to know what keywords are pertinent to your users and what links to include. However, Panda also crushes over-optimized content, so you can’t simply write your content only with keywords and the search engines in mind.

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May 13, 2013

6 Tips on How to Blog When There’s No Time

Whether you’re a lawyer, mom, or SEO, or all of the above!, we all face the same problem – we have no time. Or at least, this is how most of us see it.

If you love doing something, shouldn’t you make the time for it? I know, easier said than done.
What about blogging? If you love to write, writer’s block still happens, and you may not have the time to sit at your computer for hours on end waiting for the words to come. If you hate to write, blogging can be that much harder. However, not being a writer or hating to write are not excuses for neglecting to blog if you run a business. If you’re not a writer and don’t want to blog, you may want to find someone who can write for you. Just be sure that they capture your message clearly.

So, whether you’re mostly lacking minutes or motivation, here are some tips on how to blog when there’s “no time.”

1. Don’t Make it a Chore – It’s important to write about a topic that interests you and it’s even better if it’s something you’re passionate about. Don’t think of blogging as “work” otherwise it may seem like a chore and you might be less motivated or excited to do it. If you blog with your message and target audience in mind, the topics will seem endless.

2. Don’t Always Wait for the Right Time - Write down ideas as soon as you have them. It doesn’t matter if you’re cooking or in the shower - waterproof notepads, anyone? Even if you don’t think you’ll have time to actually write about the topic, you can always come back to your notes later. Jotting down some ideas or having someone else do it for you the moment that they arise will help you remember them and can open up even more ideas.

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May 9, 2013

Creativity and Online Content for Marketing, Not as Different as You Think

Pasadena Content DevelopmentFor many, the process of continually writing online content for a marketing campaign can be a draining task. While creating new content that has not been on a site before, or hopefully on any other site, is vital, a writer may feel like he or she is running out of topics or creative juices. If this is happening to you, do not be afraid, you are not alone.

However, do not let yourself simply accept the idea of running out of creativity or topics. This will lead to monotony, which in turn leads to bad writing, which can negatively impact the strength of a marketing campaign. But what can you do to get yourself out of this hole or prevent yourself from getting into it in the first place?

While there are no steadfast guidelines (this can kill creativity), there are some actions that you can take to improve your drive and the overall quality of your future work.

Think of Your Passions

There is a reason for why you have gotten yourself into the position of content writer. While these can vary widely from person to person, there are often unique passions that have led you to this point. Reflect on them and consider how you can feed into them with the work you are currently doing.

Look at Your Inspirations

Who or what inspires you to think and act more creatively? If it is a writer or artist, study his or her work and consider what it sparks within your mind. How are you going to be great if you do not study greatness? Remember, great works are not meant to be simply admired, but to be emulated. Strive toward making your content into something that will inspire others. This cycle of creativity can also be a consistent example for you in future work.

Examine Your Past Mistakes

You’ve made mistakes in your past work. Admit it. But what were they? Consider errors in grammar, syntax, style, and focus. Additionally, consider what mistakes you have made in choosing topics or language when it comes to writing for your audience. Now, what led you to make those choices? Were you in a rush? Distracted? Simply unaware of what was incorrect? Do not just review these errors, remember them in whatever way helps these lessons stick with you and have them inform what you are doing now.

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April 30, 2013

Link Building: The Common Denominator of SEO

Links seem to be the one thing that everyone wants to get their hands on. There are many misconceptions surrounding link building methods, so how do you know which way is best?

No matter what tactics you’ve heard, relevant content is necessary to keep the common denominator of SEO alive. You also have to network and do your research. All of these factors cannot be rushed or fabricated. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news…but it’s actually good news!

Patience is a Virtue, Blah Blah Blah

The crackdown on spam-like linking and poor quality SEO can actually help your site rank better by sifting out sites that only contain paid links and irrelevant content. Even if your site has been hit by recent algorithm updates, you can work your way back up in the search engines by paying more attention to link diversity, where your links are going, and who is linking back to you.

There is no shortcut to this.

For a law firm, building links should be a gradual, natural process. Any industry wants to see results fast, but attorney website link development - that is effective and lasts - can’t happen overnight. You have to take the time to look at each link and if you don’t have the time, then find a SEO consultant that has a solid track record and is trustworthy.

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April 25, 2013

How Social Media Helped The Boston Globe Keep the Nation Informed about Marathon Bombing Breaking News

One week later, our nation continues to recuperate from and make sense of the terror at the Boston Marathon. At SLS Consulting, we express our condolences to the families who have lost loved ones and we wish as smooth a recovery as possible for individuals coping with injuries.

No one can anticipate what their response will be to such a shocking tragedy. The relentless effort on the part of The Boston Globe to accurately report on events surrounding the finish line bombings and the subsequent manhunt is admirable and inspiring.

According to a Mashable article, The Globe had 20-30 reporters at the race and many other reporters participating in the race, but, thankfully, no staff members suffered injuries. One staff writer was near the finish line when the first explosion occurred. Instead of running away from the scene, he began documenting the events and recorded a video. In addition, a producer for Boston.com shot footage of the explosion aftermath that made its way onto numerous websites. These are only two examples of the many efforts by The Globe employees to provide non-stop breaking news coverage on its websites and social media platforms.

When Dedication Produces Results

On the day of the bombing, April 15, 2013, the two websites of The Globe, Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com, had approximately 4.3 million unique visitors and 1.2 million unique visitors. From the day of the attack to the day of the suspect’s arrest five days later, Boston.com received five times as many visitors and BostonGlobe.com received 10 times as many visitors.

The number of site visitors is impressive; however, apart from their success, what stands out the most about The Globe is the courage and perseverance of staff members in a city that was under attack.

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April 16, 2013

Is Vine a Worthwhile Addition to Your Twitter Presence?

In the past several months, the video application known as Vine, which is the latest addition to Twitter, has become an increasing presence on the social media website. And while many individuals have used Vine to make fun short videos, (Vine videos only run a maximum of six seconds) companies have also begun to use the application for Twitter marketing.

But is it the right marketing tool for your company?

Like Tweets, Vine videos are informal in nature. Videos are taken via a smart phone and can be comprised of as many clips as the user wants, with or without sound. While these videos are short, users can play around with them to create a variety of looks and feels. Some users have taken up the entire six seconds with one shot, and others have used rapidly edited clips to create a stop motion feel.

These videos cannot be edited after being shot, which gives them a more rough and informal feel than professional videos in other mediums. However, that does not mean that businesses looking to market themselves with the help of Vine should shoot without a plan.

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