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Web platforms: Reintroduction of basic website feature functions and benefits

Ebay had an ad on Facebook for EBay fashion that caught my eye.  It caught my eye because back in the day, I used Ebay quite a bit.  Now not at all. 

I  just posted some furniture on Craig’s list and got no response.  I used to get it sold that day. 

Plaxo use to be my digital address book, now I do not even open their emails. 

I don’t even know my MySpace log in, nor have I used it in years.

So what is going on?  I have created a lot of litter on the digital highway with my usage. Self created, but none the less add to a CMO’s marketers dilemma.

My thought is that even the most famous websites or platforms need to reintroduce themselves frequently to their current user base.  The key driver is to reintroduce what they do, how to do it and why they are still relevant.  The basic 101 of the site. 

Most marketers as of late have been focused on organic optimization of the website and content, which is great, but have forgotten the basics of if and when they find you, they better know how to use you and why to use your site.

I still  have preconceived ideas about Ebay based on my last use.  They have may changes dramatically, yet I still shy away from getting reintroduced. Nor has Ebay even tried to re-engage me. Running a sale is different from reintroducing me to how to use the site.

Google Marketplace has miss stepped over and over again.  I was a huge loyalist, then they because so complex that it drove out all small business with having to add ownership tags that drove out most who do not have in-house web techs. Now they are charging per click to make money off the big brands.

 As compared with Amazon market place, which still has some bugs to work out, but which I sing their praises every day.

As the CMO, dig a little deeper with your team. Look at your own website.  Is traffic up or down, not net new traffic, your returning traffic.  Why are they using your site, what are they doing, what are they not doing. Most sites are designed for net new, not returning visitors.

Returning visitors need  their own path of re-education on how to use the site, whats new, what is familiar. Just as same store sales is critical for brick and mortar, it is critical to activate those who are returning.

The digital road is littered with use and disuse.  What state is your website or platform in? What are your returning customers needing?

These simple questions could improve conversion 10% and who would not want that these days.

Ping-O-Matic is your one stop shop to quick pings for your blog posts to search engines.

With organic content the new focus and king of the hill.  Getting noticed for all your content can be as easy as a single posting to Ping-o-Matic.   http://pingomatic.com/.   This site will allow you to ping over 20 key search engines. It also has an area for specialized services.

 

They also check down stream to be sure the blog is legit and that you are submitting to the ones that are the most relevent to your blog.

How can you get your blog indexed by Google in 24 hours?

Getting Google to index your blog posts quickly will help get the traction you want for your blogging efforts.  Many times the editorial staff who writes and posts the blogs, leave out these key steps. Many do not know you need to do this. Some say it now happen automatically.  My advice is to go over each step for your blogs and see where you cam pick up improvements.

The article that I point most to  is one from Quick Online Tips .  “Quickonline tips  Guest post by Andrew Rondeau
“How can you get your blog indexed by Google in 24 hours? There is a lot of conflicting search engine optimization information available, especially when it comes to trying to beat the natural ranking systems and having your blog rank high in Google right from the start.  While it’s possible to make a blog and have it indexed almost straight away, most people go about doing so with a poor overall strategy for success.

Ranking high on Google is all about long-term thinking, and going out to win everything in the first day will often see you wasting time and opportunity without getting anything in return. However, it’s very much possible to be indexed by Google in 24 hours or less. After you make a blog, just follow these simple ideas and you’ll see your website show up in the search results within a day.

1: Submit your blog to Google

 Obviously you’ve got to submit your new blog to Google before it can be indexed. Some free blogging platforms will submit your blog for free, while others, especially self-hosted blogging platforms, require you to do it yourself. Either way, it’s an easy 5-minute job that can be done alongside other, more time-consuming tasks. Use the Google webmasters tools to verify your site. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to google.com/webmasters. Sign in using your Google Account or create an account if you don’t have one already.

Step 2: Add your blog site by clicking the “Add a site” button. Then type in the domain name you wish to add, and click “Continue”.

Step 3: Once added you will need to verify that you own this site. This can be done one of two ways, Meta Tag or Upload a HTML file. The Meta Tag way is, by far the easiest.

Step 4: Meta Tag verification. This method requires you to add a piece of code to your header.php file. Copy the Meta Tag code Google has asked you to copy to your blog site.

Step 5: In your WordPress dashboard go to “Appearance”, then “Editor” using the menu tabs on the left hand side.

Then click on Header (header.php) on the right hand side to open up the header template. Find the <head> tag highlighted, and BELOW it “paste” in the verification Meta tag Google has given you.

Step 6: Then scroll down and click on “Update File”

Step 7: Go back to the Google Webmasters Tool website and click “Verify” and Google will confirm that you own the site.

Step 8: After verifying, Google will display a confirmation page.

2: Submit your blog Sitemap to Google

If you are using WordPress, install the Google XML sitemap plugin that creates a sitemap of your blog that search engines can read.
You now want to add your blog’s sitemap. This is how:

 Step 1: From within the Google Webmaster tools website, click on the domain name you have just added and it will open up a Dashboard for your site. On the left hand side menu, click on “Site Configuration” and then “Sitemaps”.

Step 2: Click “Submit a Sitemap” and enter the name of your sitemap. It should be sitemap.xml

It will take a few hours for the sitemaps to be analyzed and added. Then you can return here and make sure there are no errors, see how many URLs are being indexed and the time that Google last visited you. Even without the sitemap you will begin to get a list of the top search queries that your site is being found for, incoming links to your site, and the keywords that Google thinks your site is optimized for.

By verifying your site and adding your blog’s sitemap, you are telling Google your blog has arrived and it will quickly be indexed.

3: Use social bookmarking to generate links right away

Social bookmarking services are a great way to generate links to your new blog in record time. From simple community bookmarking websites to the giants of the web, submitting your website to social bookmarking services like StumbleUpon, Digg and Twitter can help you generate powerful, natural linkbacks. Log on and “favorite” your blog, and be sure to encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same.

4: Get posting on forums

Get your blog link in your forum signature and start posting it on as many forums as you can. Of course, spamming is never a good long-term idea, but some smart, relevant forum posts are a great way to bring in new SEO juice and links for your new blog. For some reason, Google tends to prioritize websites that are generating links already, so get out there and create as many as you possibly can for your new blog.

5: Install SEO plugins for your blog

Most blogs will come with a SEO pack available, and WordPress has a free one for download if you’re having trouble optimizing your blog. Search engine optimization is absolutely essential for generating blog traffic, and without putting time and thought into your SEO efforts it’s easy to lose what could be a great opportunity. Even though we’re focusing on short-term SEO speed, it’s good to think long-term right from the beginning. Download and use the All-in-one-Seo-Pack plugin.  Check out my video to optimize your All-in-one-SEO-pack plugin set up: How to use the All in one SEO WordPress plugin to your advantage

Five ideas that take hardly any time will ensure you get you new blog seen and indexed by Google within 24 hours.”

How to use Ping.FM to be able to update all your social statuses from one place.

Looking for ways to streamline the updates and set ups for your social media programs? The Social Media Guide  blog recently did a very good and detailed review of Ping.FM. I am always looking for ways to multi task in the social media world and this is a very good solution to issues all CMO’s face when it comes to updates and changes and how to get them on each and every social media tool we use in our marketing mix.

You or your team spend hours filling in profiles, joining groups,updating statuses as the list of social media tools grow in your marketing mix. So check out this option and the detailed instructions that they gave us.

How to use Ping.fm

Ping.fm, Social Media — By Matthew Tommasi

There are so many social networking sites around today and even more appearing on a weekly basis. 

If you are like me, it is likely that you are a member of more than one social network like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc. If you are one of the hardcore you could be a member of many, many more. 

How many hours would you have spent filling in your profiles, joining groups and updating your statuses within these social circles? It starts to add up. 

Wouldn’t it be good to be able to update all your social statuses from one place? Well you can with Ping.fm

Ping.fm allows you to send updates to all, or just a handful of your favourite sites. Updates can be made from your browser, email or sms. If you have an iPhone and are using the Twitter application Tweetie, checkout my guide on how to integrate Ping.fm with Tweetie. 

This guide will show you how to save time and be more efficient when it comes to updating your social statuses. 

Firstly, you will need to make sure you have added all your social networks. For this guide, I have only added Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. 

There are three different methods of posting – status updates, micro-blogs and blogging.. which I found a little confusing when it came to configuring my social networks. Do I set them as status only, or micro-blogging only, or both, or what? And what about updating via email? 

So I decided to test these out to see how they worked for real. Here is what I have found when testing out the various posting methods of Ping.fm. 

To check out the details go to:

http://thesocialmediaguide.com.au/2009/05/10/how-to-use-pingfm/

What other blogs are saying about you and your products.

Blogs and monitoring of blogs and what is being said about you is a hot topic these days.  How do you monitor? Do you pay to monitor? What tools are available to you to monitor blogs and what is being said about you or your company is all the discussion in the CMO’s mind.

Social Mouths blog had some good ideas of free listening posts for your products and services, beyond the paid services for social media monitoring such as Radian 6 and CrimsonHexagon. 

Here is the short list URLs and Free blog listening tools:

IceRocket

Blog Pluse

Blog line search

Google blog search

Paid Services:

Radian 6

Crimsonhexagon.

Here is the blog I was reading on the subject.

Social Mouths blog 

Do You Know What Other Blogs Are Saying About You?

listeningDo you know if you are being mentioned on other blogs? Did you know there are ways of tracking this? And, why is this important anyways?

In this post, I’ll explain why paying attention to what other blogs say is important and how to be aware of these mentions.

So let’s get started…

Why You Should Care

SEO

When you get mentioned by another blog, the author usually links back to your blog/site and as you know, getting backlinks is one of the most important things you can do to your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as they can improve your page ranking. The search engines want to know if your site is relevant.

Sentiment

The next thing you need to worry about is sentiment. Is the comment positive or negative? Of course you don’t want people saying something negative about you or your services. When you track these mentions at least you have the opportunity to participate, maybe try to do something to turn an unhappy customer into a happy one. Damage control.

If it’s a positive mention, it is also a good opportunity to engage in the conversation.

Reciprocity

Be human. Be thankful and participate by leaving a comment or giving the post a tweet. Not to make you feel obligated but return the favor if you can, there is a good chance the other blog is somehow related to your topic.

Don’t ignore it, keep this blog in mind.

Let’s Look At An Example

Herbert from Penn State | Outreach Marketing did a very, very nice piece sharing a post from SocialMouths on his “Why Is Social Media Not Working For You” (Thanks Herbert).

Outreach Marketing

OK, so this is an extreme example and it’s not always like this, the mention can be a simple link to your blog or to a specific post. The point here is how to find this, right?

Tools

There are many tools you can use to track these mentions, feel free to share your favorite ones in the comment section of this post. Here a couple you can try:

Go to these sites and do a search based on your blog’s name or URL.

IceRocket

icerocket

BlogPulse (From Nielsen)

blogpulse

Other tools you can use are Bloglines Search or Google’s Blog Search.

Get Alerts

rss readerAll these services and most of them out there allow you to get the search results on RSS. You should subscribe and organize them on your RSS Reader. The point is to get alerts and be able to react as soon as possible, there is no point if you come back a month after the post was published.

Final Tought

The social web gives you the opportunity to engage in ways traditional media can’t but if you don’t pay attention, those opportunities are wasted.

One more thing, when you mention somebody or share a post from somebody else on your blog, make sure you do it properly so you give credit and the other end is aware of it.

Happy Listening!”

Jing is free software that adds visuals to your online conversations

Jing by Techsmith, is a tool that has captured my attention. It is a simple to use tool for instant sharing. It can be used for screen shots, videos, call outs and to show people what you are seeing on your screen with a click of a button with a linking URL.  Much better than the process of screen shot, save to word ect.  It sits on your desk top as a yellow half-moon ready for when you want to screen shot with three choices of capture, history and more.

Their website says it is to add visuals to your online conversation. There is a free version and a paid version for adding video. With the free version you also get 2 mg on Screencast which is a nice benefit.

Here is a few ways they suggest using Jing

  • collaborateCollaborate on a design project
  • share snapshotShare a snapshot of a document
  • speechNarrate your vacation photos
  • bugCapture that pesky bug in action
  • family tech supportShow Dad how to use iTunes
  • homeworkComment verbally on students’ homework
  • tidbitsPost tidbits from your life on Twitter or Facebook

What I also like is that is integrated with their other programs, that are more complex.

Screencast.com Screencast.  It not only provides free storage and instant sharing of your Jing content…it’s also a super place to share your high-quality videos, images, presentations, and all manner of digital content.

 

Snagit Snag-It . This Swiss-army knife of screen capture picks up where Jing leaves off.  Powerful image editing, scrolling window capture, cursor capture, tagging, search, and rugged good looks.

Camtasia Studio Camtasia Studio.  Jing’s big brother on the video side—and the ideal choice for creating longer, more polished screen videos. Camtasia Studio can edit your Jing videos, too.

Google launches Buzz

 Google Buzz launches. My Google email account had a new message that welcomed me to Buzz.

It read, ” Welcome to Buzz.   Buzz is a new way to share updates, photos, videos and more, and start conversations about the things you find interesting. You’re already set up to follow the people you email and chat with the most.”

So I tried it and it is easy to use, once you approve a profile.  They preset you up with others in your address book.  To me it looked liked my Google Wave list.  Google Buzz has the look of Twitter and the functionality of Facebook. It is listed in your Google side nav bar, so easy to use.  You can follow and unfollow at the click of a button.

 Now why and how would I use it?  I think I am going to keep this one as a small group of contacts that I will communicate with and not the larger groups that are on Facebook and Twitter.  Not sure that is how they intended for it to be used?  How will you use Buzz or is it another Wave which turn out to be to far ahead of its time and not really usable?

Update: Mashable reported this morning less than a week there have been over 9 million post and comments already.