Archive for August, 2010

Love SEO? Then you better love video!

Monday, August 30th, 2010 | Permalink

Search Engine Journal

Search Engine Journal posted a recent article discussing the importance of online video and incorporating that video into your website or blog. The article entitled, “If You Care about SEO, You Need to Know about Video” was written by Yaniv Axen.

I love the opening Q and A.

"Q: Do you have video on your website?

A: The only right answers are, “yes” or “we will soon.” "

His points are simple and direct. In 2007 Google integrated video into its universal search offering. This leads to websites with video being favored over those without. The result increases their search-based traffic. He further supports this concept with hard numbers. In 2008, only 18% of the top 50 retailers were using video. In 2009, 68% were using video. That is a 375% increase!

The prevalence of online video has changed the way google provides search results. When searches are made on Google, 40% of the time a video is in the results.

After providing the statistics on the importance of video, Yaniv then discusses the six things you need to know when concerning search engine optimization (SEO) and video.

1) Video creation, and especially web video, is not resource intensive as it once was.

2) Embedding a video on a website is insufficient for affecting SEO. Online retailers need to cover their entire product line with videos that match keywords to better target specific customers.

3) Video should not be static. Keep them as up to date so that they are consistently in first place on universal search engines.

4) Don’t stop at the video. The title matters, the description matters, and very important but often over-looked are the metadata and tags. Remember that having the video searchable is of the utmost importance. A video is of no use if it is never found and watched.

5) Videos need sitemaps. Sitemaps aid in publishing information from one central location and make it easier for search engines to find you.

6) YouTube is not just funny pet videos. It’s just that simple. Online video is a powerful way to engage people.

If you follow this blog regularly, then you know that I am nonprofit focused and that this post is more “business” focused. The connection is to replace “products” with your mission. Instead of providing videos about that latest product line, think about a video about your latest update to how you are achieving your mission. How are you changing peoples lives, the community, or the environment. Web video can be used throughout the organization. It is much more than one video on the homepage. Have videos of your events and fundraisers on their own page. Have video testimonials from your volunteers and staff about the work they do. The videos will not only share your story, but they will increase your SEO as well.

7 Social Media Myths

Monday, August 9th, 2010 | Permalink

While reading an article in the SocialMedia Examiner I came across this article by Rich Brooks discussing 7 claims regarding social media that can be ignored. Amazing! All too often opinions regarding new technologies become rock-solid facts when they are nothing more than someone’s popular opinion. So let’s revisit Rich’s discussion and continue to spread truth into the sea of opinions.

1) Social Media has changed EVERYTHING

To quote Rich, “Balderdash.” Social media has presented a new way to approach and connect with the public, nothing more and nothing less. The idea that social media has made traditional methods of conducting business obsolete is a misunderstanding of the greatest measure. Social media has not changed the methods, it has changed how we use them. (I love analogies, so here we go!) The creation of a typewriter did not make the written word obsolete, it merely changed the way we put the words on paper. The same goes for social media, the content is unchanged, we simply have new and powerful ways to share that content.

2) You Can’t Sell in Social Media

Firstly, I am not trying to contradict my recent discussion of not taking advantage of the online community, but rather would like to build upon it. The simple fact is that if you put your content in front of the wrong people they will throw it away, delete it, or even “block” you from contacting them again. On the other hand, if you use social media with tact and build genuine relationships your content can be spread, forwarded, and find its way in front of the right person who would like to be your customer.

3) You Have to Stay On Message

To again quote our friend Rich, “…you know who stays on message? Politicians and boring corporations.” This speaks for itself. Humanizing yourself, adding personality, and discussing your passion for restoring a 1965 Oldsmobile into the ridiculous lowrider you dreamed about when you were 16 doesn’t make you less professional, it makes you a real person who happens to drive an old car that bounces. With that said, keep in mind how you meet and interact with new people, treat social media the same. Be personal, be authentic, and above all be yourself.

4) You Need to Have a Lot of Followers

The premise is simple. The more followers you have the more people that will be exposed to your content. Ok, this is true, but the counter argument is simple as well. Providing your content to huge numbers of people means nothing if they are not interested in what you have to say. Having 100 followers who read what you have to say is better than 10,000 who delete it without opening it. It’s the basic premise of quality over quantity.

5) You Need to Have a Lot of Comments on Your Blog

I blog at let’s dabble for many reasons. Comments are not one of them. Are they nice? Sure. Are they the goal? Sadly, no. Although interaction with the community is a beneficial side effect of blogging, tweeting, and new content creation. They exist without interaction for a very important reason, SEO. Search Engine Optimization is what ranks websites when a search is made in google. If you would like your lemonade stand to be the first one listed when “lemonade stand” is searched in google, your site needs to be considered the best. How does google decide who is the best? Content, web traffic, and links to your site from reputable sites, just to name a few. So get out there and keep getting out there. The more good, relevant content you provide the higher google will rank your “lemonade stand” in google search results.

6) You Can’t Measure Social Media ROI

Have you ever asked? If you want to know how people hear about you, ask them. You can send out a survey to recent clients/donors with a list of ways you are promoting your organization and ask them to “check a box”. You can also set up google analytics which can monitor your website or blog and will provide you with a myriad of information regarding the traffic you are getting.

7) You Have to Be on Facebook (or Twitter, or Have a Blog…)

The only thing you “have” to do is what works best for you. If you find that your demographic does not tweet, stop tweeting. If they are not on Facebook, why have a page? But if they love photos, can you justify not providing them with a few pictures to show them the new office building? If they are searching YouTube for your videos, can you justify not have a YouTube Channel with relevant videos?

Listen first, then provide your content where it is appropriate. But above all, provide that content. The hardest way to be found is to tell no one where you are. So dabble with Flickr, dabble with Youtube, and once you start, keep dabbling!