Facebook has 699 million daily active users (as of June 2013), but according to Facebook’s own estimate, 80% of them are outside of the United States and Canada. And, although a lot of businesses are on the social network, not all businesses do well there.
What many businesses don’t understand is that Facebook is really a “social” network, where people come to talk and share information. Service businesses rarely make much of an impact and to use any social media successfully it requires dedicated amounts of time and diligence that a business owner either has to put in or should hire someone to do.
The most successful businesses on Facebook fall into these seven categories:
In May of 2013 , the article Maybe You Don’t Need Social Media to be Successful states:
One USA Today report reveals that social media may not be the answer for everyone…About 61% of small businesses don’t see any return on investment on their social-media activities.
In the post, When Small Businesses Shouldn’t Do Social Media, social media and marketing specialist Stephanie Schwab confesses:
As someone who is deeply entrenched in, and very much in love with, social media, it’s very hard to say ‘Don’t do social media.’ But honestly – more and more, I find myself telling some of these entrepreneurs and business owners that social media may not be the most important thing for them to do….
Others point out that there are some huge, successful businesses that don’t use social media at all, Apple being the most unexpected example.
Also, ignoring your target market is one of the biggest mistakes local businesses make. Before jumping into the social media venue, first find where your prospective customers are who are looking for the services you offer.
The Yellow Pages used to be the place to advertise in, but is rapidly being replaced by online directories. There are online Yellow Pages, but again, they are often confusing, and sometimes have incorrect or outdated information.
Ask your current customers to post reviews for you on websites like Yelp, MojoPages.com, and TripAdvisor.com (they now show businesses as well as restaurants). Make sure you list your website in Yahoo Local, Bing Local, and Google Plus (a.k.a. Google Places).
If your business handles commercial services, such as industrial plumbing or cleaning, be sure to get a company page on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is one of the biggest business-to-business networks online today.
Many Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations and local networking groups have websites
and an online business directory for their members. This is an excellent resource for prospective clients, because they will continue to refer you to their friends and colleagues.
And don’t forget about offline marketing. If you can find a charity or other non-profit corporation that is running an event in your area, see if you can be a sponsor. Many of these organizations will list their sponsors in their printed material, signs and banners at the event itself. Or, you can see about sponsoring a local conference or fund-raising event.
Most SEO people agree that having a single dash or hyphen (-) in a domain name is not a bad thing. Technically, the search engines still see the keywords in the URL and ignore the hyphens.
In the past, spammers have over-used hyphens to try and direct unsuspecting users to their own websites. Having two to three hyphens in a domain name is what has given hyphenated domains such a bad reputation.
Several articles point to the fact that hyphenated domains still appear in Google’s results (and many of these websites are high quality), and are therefore not being penalized for having hyphens.
Using hyphens is not good for branding a specific product or service, but a keyword rich domain name with a dash will still rank highly.
Jon Rognerud (Author of The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization), personal communication.
Hyphenated Domain Names: Use Or Avoid?
Posted on January 5, 2012 by Sergie Matthis
A good way of getting more keywords on a website is to put together a glossary of terms. This has two main advantages.
First, by putting in a list of definitions, you make the website more of a content site, and one that will be seen for information. It is a great service to your customers and prospects as well.
A great example of this is Grand Entrances . I helped set up this glossary of terms about doors (and learned a lot while doing it). Now, when customers come to the website, they can better understand what the descriptions are referring to.
Secondly, a glossary allows you to pinpoint the keywords that you want the search engines and users to see. Often, a website has too many keywords to be clumped together on the home page. With a list of terms, you can both inform and educate.
Image via Wikipedia
There is currently a discussion on MyVirtualPowerForum about Google being evil. This was my first response to the discussion.
While I do not consider Google “evil” (I reserve that label for the really bad things in life), I do think that they are the big bully on the block.
For all the reasons given here and more, Google has decided that it is the search engine “God”, and whatever it decides goes.
Well, this only works if your SEO person only optimizes your website for Google. I have never followed this method because it puts you at the mercy of them. There are many techniques (especially now with social marketing) around the monolith of Google.
What I find funny is when Google spokespeople openly lie (IMHO), and all these SEO discussion forums obediently fall in line with the supposed policy. An example was the pronouncement from on high (Matt Cutts) that Google does not consider “.gov” or “.edu” sites to be authoritative. What pure nonsense!
Another stupid comment from them was that they no longer use inbound links from directories. Yeah, right.
Google’s biggest, and ongoing lie (IMHO) is their use of PageRank. The supposed PR that you see people claiming that their site ranks for is useless. First of all, the term PageRank, is named for Larry Page, not after a web page. Secondly, the PR you can see on the Google Toolbar is not what Google is using. What Google is using is a trade secret.
And finally, PR is not important in the bigger picture. What is important is where your site ranks in the organic results on any search engine, and where it appears for the keywords that you want it to appear for.