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The Cheap SEO Tactic That Builds Buzz and Relationships

5 May

SEO efforts are meant to improve the visibility of your website on search engines. There are about a pajilion different ways to do this; some a little more sketchy than others. But, the fact is, with Google constantly changing/improving – depending on how your rankings go – their algorithm, the more sketchy tactics don’t work anymore.

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I’m kind of sick of hearing this, but it’s true.

The latest trend: quality content. I agree with this wholeheartedly, and not just because I am, in fact, a content writer. Content is how you’re found online and Google is a lot smarter in the way it ranks good content.

Most people are only thinking about what they’re putting up on their own site. Then you have those who occasionally tweet or Facebook, which is also good. But what else are you doing? There are a lot of other conversations taking place on forums, blogs, discussion boards, Twitter, Facebook, etc., and you should be a part of them.

Finding Conversations/Web Outreach

K, it’s super simple. Set up Google Alerts and do some Twitter Searches. Done. Well, I guess you still have to do some other stuff. Set up Google Alerts for: competitors, industry keywords, your brand, your product, related products or services, etc.

Make sure you’re checking Alerts and Twitter Search regularly, otherwise they are going to accumulate real fast. Join relevant conversations or comment on related posts in a meaningful and personal way. If people think you’re spamming, it’s over.

Each time you join a thread, make sure you sign your name with a link to your site. And there you have it; backlinks from relevant sites. But again, don’t be annoying about it.

Maintaining Relationships

Once you’ve made contact within the blogosphere and twitterverse, make friends and believers. There’s nothing better than making fans and watching them spread the word for you.  And consumers are way more credible than you. Nobody wants to hear what the company has to say about themselves; they want to hear from the people who have had real contact with the company, both good and bad.

This brings me to my next point. Start some online PR and get involved in both positive and negative conversations. If anything, negative comments are what you should be tackling first. If someone is talking trash about you, find out why and try to fix the problem. Just be real and transparent. Even if you don’t make a fan out of them, they will appreciate the fact that you took time to respond.

Services

As you can imagine, this type of work can be very time consuming and tedious. But it needs to be done. There are companies that provide these services. However, most of them are pretty expensive and for most start-ups, that kind of cost is not in the cards.

For those who have the budget, here are some SEO/buzz marketing services:

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We Are Social

Buzz.io

PRMarketing.com

OrderNoRxx.com Social Media Management Co.
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GraphicRiver: Like Having Your Own Designer

10 Mar

… for about $10.

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I feel like I need to give a shout-out to fluconazole without prescription GraphicRiver. It’s totally fantastic. I used it a couple months ago on a project and it totally saved my life and made me look really good.

Me and my partner in this crazy adventure need to get marketing materials – business cards, letter heads, envelopes, folders, sales slicks, CD labels, yada yada yada – ready for a new company super fast. Neither of us are designers nor did we want to pay for a designer to do what we knew would take them two seconds.

This is when GraphicRiver saves lives. They have tons of different designers submit designs for personal and corporate branding materials. You just choose the template you like, pay a few dollars for the Creative Suite files and PDFs and they’re all yours. One thing, you do need to have at least basic knowledge of Creative Suite to be able to personalize the templates. If you don’t know anything about CS, you can use all the internets to find some tutorials.

With our project, we actually used templates from two different designers. One was fantastic to work with. The other template was in weird formats and it took me forever to figure out layers and junk. But, again, it was better than me trying to design it myself.

This is what I suggest for non-designers either marketing themselves or a start-up: get a real designer to put your logo together. If you don’t know a designer, use an online service like Logoworks how to buy Plan B or 99 Designs to create your logo. Once you have a logo, color scheme, and fonts, find a GraphicRiver template package that works with the brand you’re going for and make the appropriate changes. Done.

Dear MySpace

18 Oct

Old Myspace Logo:

New Myspace Logo:

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Dear MySpace,

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I’d almost forgotten all about you. But now you’ve snuck back onto the radar with a “new logo” stunt. Are you trying to be Gap? “I have a great plan. Let’s make a really crappy logo and see how much everyone freaks out and then we’ll know they love us.” Well played, Gap. But here’s my concern, Myspace: people don’t like you as much as they like Gap. There it is; I said it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good rebranding effort as much as the next kid; I’m just not sure that this is a “good” effort. I have a rule that if my logo can be made in Word, it probably isn’t the best logo. I’m also having a hard time understanding the concept. I realize that I am supposed to translate “______” as “space” but all I’m seeing is “MyBlank.” Is that how I’m supposed to translate it? You can respond to my My______  account that’s been inactive for about 3 years. Thanks!

Love,

Cari

Dear Gap

7 Oct

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Dear Gap,

I’ve noticed you have a new logo. What gives? You’ve had such great branding for as long as I can remember. It was beautifully simple; blue square and clean, white, serif text. Timeless.

I have a feeling your CEO, or his wife, got his hands on Illustrator, learned about gradients and went nuts. “How cute, this font makes the G look like a loopy arrow. And make it black just cuz. Perfect!”

Well, Gap, I’m sure you’ll survive this mishap. But I also hope you go back to the old logo as quickly as possible.

Love,

Cari

P.S. Make your pants longer. They never fit me.