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70 posts categorized "Online Image"

January 04, 2012



Blogging-tips
Often companies turn to building a blog to create their online brand presence.  If nothing else they believe it will attract a few more customers.  While blogging can have quite an effect on increased online brand presence it must be done right.  One of the issues those new to blogging are guilty of is only including text in each post. 

Of course the text is the most important part of a post and a lot of focus in the area of SEO marketing in regards to crafting one’s online brand presence is spent fixating on the content of a blogpost it is not the only thing to include in a post.  Each post should have at least one non-text item like a photo, multimedia item or video. 

Online Brand Presence and the Blog – Pictures

Adding a picture to every post is easy and effective.  The Google Panda loves pictures and it will, if other components of a great blog are in order, raise ranking on Google search. While any picture will do try and choose one that best suits the material being discussed.  If a photograph of merchandise is a good choice, throw it in.  Otherwise, there are plenty of great free pictures available on the internet life creativecommons.com.

Online Brand Presence and the Blog – Video

 Not only does adding a video to a blog post add ranking value but it also adds quality and a level of professionalism.  If one adds just any video to the post in an effort to increase ranking and online brand presence it will probably get flagged and suffer a penalization from Google and other search engines.  More importantly if customers of a company take the time to read the blog and then are subjected to a pointless video they feel used.  It’s just not worth it.

Instead only add a video if the video adds value to the post. Most companies keep video of conferences, meetings and how-to guides for products.  Even a commercial may fit a particular post.  The main thing to remember when incorporating video into a blog is that one must think creatively and put the readers’ interest as top priority – not Google rankings.

All in all, any company serious about beefing up their online brand presence through blogging should take the time to do it right.  Adding video and pictures is a great and easy way to start.  If one does not have the time or desire to devote the required effort to creating and maintaining an effective blog they should hire a professional well-versed in SEO marketing to deliver a stellar online brand presence.

January 02, 2012



Images
I’ve mentioned in previous posts the importance of keeping on top of updates on a company website and social media like Facebook and Twitter.  There is nothing more devastating to an online brand presence than an outdated and irrelevant web page.  With that said and already established I want to emphasis the responsibility of every company in maintaining the website in an effort to continually build online brand presence.

With the New Year now upon us it is the perfect opportunity for every company to set themselves apart from their competition less dedicated to maintain an online brand presence and update their websites with 2012 information.  This goes far beyond changing the dates on the website.  One would be surprised to realize that the year pops up quite frequently on a website and social media pages.

Here are a few places to check for updating if creating an online brand presence is important to one’s company:

1)      Web Content - The first is the most obvious.  Make sure that all of the web content on a website says 2012 instead of 2011.  This is especially crucial for the homepage which is often the center of any online brand presence campaign.  Even though it is only a few days difference it appears to be a year different to anyone visiting the site.  That equals sloppy and an out of date website.

2)      Pricing Lists - Pricing lists cannot be forgotten!  Most companies update their pricing lists at some point during the year but not always on January 1st.  If the pricing list says 2011 prices it should immediately be changed to 2012 prices.  If the pricing schedule runs on a different schedule than the calendar year it should clearly state the dates, i.e. June 2011 through June 2012.

3)      Social Media – Many businesses are catching on to the unique marketing power and creation of online brand presence that social media allows and advertise specials via Facebook, Twitter or Google+.  At the beginning of the New Year every social media page should be gone over with a fine tooth comb to ensure all the 2011s that need to be updated to 2012 are.

Rather than enjoy a few easy days at the office during the first week of the New Year businesses should take advantage in the usual lull in activity and clean up their online identity.  Building and maintaining an online brand presence takes time and an ongoing commitment to being better than average.

December 27, 2011



Web_maintenance
In previous posts I have talked about certain characteristics websites need to possess in order for search engines to rank them higher creating, in turn, an enhanced online visibility.  The top-dog of search engines, Google, released its Panda updates to the Google algorithms in early 2011 knocking the SEO world on its back.  The changes in how they ranked pages was huge and if the April release of Panda was the megaquake then the six minor changes since then have been aftershocks.  Thankfully, Google announced in December 2011 that Panda was taking a vacation until January 2012.  At last, a chance for everyone trying to increase their rank on Google and build their enhanced online visibility can breathe for a few weeks.

We say, no! This is not a time to rest.  This is the perfect time to revamp one’s website checking for anything and everything that may be lowering the page rank and reducing its ability to cultivate an enhanced online visibility. By spending a few weeks while Panda is away (and getting ready for the next attack) cleaning up a company’s website, they’ll increase their enhanced online visibility and be in a better position to fight new changes when they come around.

Enhanced Online Visibility and Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is when an unscrupulous website identifies keywords pivotal to their enhanced online visibility and then fills fluff pages with said keywords.  The result is page after page of useless words used to lure unsuspecting searchers to a website.  Panda really cracked down on such underhanded methods of increasing rank and now companies must be mindful of the amount of keywords used per page of content.

Enhanced Online Visibility and Broken Links

Links break. Unfortunately search engines use broken links against a website featuring them.  While most broken links are unintentional and companies don’t even realize they are there, they will be a detriment should the Panda find them.  This is the perfect time to test every link to ensure that they are live and functional. 

Enhanced Online Visibility and Professional Clean Up

While these are just a few suggestions for companies wanting to build their enhanced online visibility in 2012 they are important.  To really make the most on a website and launch online visibility into the stratosphere a company’s best bet is to turn to professionals.  They have the knowledge and resources to stay on top of problems, anticipate changes to search engine algorithms and make subtle changes to websites should the need arise.  When committing to increasing one’s enhanced online visibility trusting the work to a professional is usually the best choice.

December 13, 2011



Online-advertising-tvads
For companies just starting out and looking to improve (or even create) their online brand presence all the advice can be pretty confusing.  Before becoming completely overwhelmed by it all young entrepreneurs should try the simplest online brand presence building activities first.  One of the simplest methods is for new brands to create a key phrase to use over and over.  Customers will grow to associate the phrase with the brand and sales will increase.

If one was to stop and think of all the brands with catch phrases they’d be overwhelmed.  There’s the cute duck who yells, “Aflac!” and who could forget, “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?”  While those advertising campaigns were highly successful that is not the kind of phrase being recommended to young businesses trying to build their online brand presence. 

The keyword/key phrase recommendation is a much more subtle marketing plan that if done correctly the consumer will never even realize existed.  Early on in a company’s existence a vision should have been created.  With that vision should be a target customer.  Keyword/Key Phrase determination depends wholly upon the target customer when trying to establish an online brand presence. 

Most people visit websites after performing a search.  For one’s website to be clicked on it needs to be listed on the first or second page of the results.  An entire industry has popped up in response to this process helping companies get their website in those coveted spots and, in turn, build their online brand presence.  One of the principles behind ranking is keyword placement.  One must think like one’s target audience and try and predict what words they will put into the search engine.  If the prediction is right and a company has utilized those key words and phrases within their website and blog, their website will be ranked high in the search results cementing their online brand presence.

So, getting back to choosing key words or a key phrase for a new company – keep it simple.  Companies should think of the most concise wording someone looking for their product or service would use.  For instance someone looking for a plumber in New York might put “New York plumbers” into the search engine.  “New York plumbers” would be a great key phrase to use for a plumbing company.

Once a key phrase is determined it needs to be strategically placed in all online content.  There is a thin balance between it not being used enough and being used so much that it detracts from the information being provided.  Companies should place their key phrase in every page of their website, in all blog posts, and in social media updates.  If a company is utilizing blog comments for marketing purposes, the key phrase should be used there as well.

As mentioned earlier, there are many companies specializing in online marketing and helping companies build an online brand presence.  Any company having tried keyword placement and having not seen results should consider contracting with online marketing service providers.  Keyword placement is an easy and smart way to begin one’s online brand presence building.  With a little trial and error it can launch a website to the top of the search results.

December 11, 2011



Facebook-like-button
Whether a company is new to social media or trying to figure out what they have been doing wrong in regards to building their online brand presence, turning to Facebook is probably a good idea.  Facebook is free. Facebook is popular.  Facebook probably has your target customers already actively using it.

There are, however, some unofficial rules to Facebook posting that should be religiously followed by companies hoping to increase their online brand presence, not destroy their credibility.  Facebook users range in age, cultural background, interests and just about every other distinguishing factor.  Finding one’s target audience is a challenge, but once it is found a company has the opportunity to subtly (if done well) inject their brand and a need for their brand into the daily lives of that deep potential customer pool.

First, companies need to realize that Facebook is not a mini-version of their website.  By trying to cram in every little bit of information about the company and products they inadvertently turn customers away.   Building online brand presence is about getting a brand’s name and concept out there, not necessarily closing the sale.  Facebook users value insightful, intelligent posts that add value – not elevator pitches. 

Second, companies should value consistency and authenticity above all else on Facebook.  It’s wonderful if a brand has a gimmick, like the gecko for Geiko or the Old Spice man for Old Spice.  If a company has successfully imbedded a gimmick or character into their brand identity they must keep up the charade on Facebook.

Finally, as tempting as it may be, companies must not put all their advertising eggs in the social media basket.  Online brand presence reaches far beyond Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +.  While it’s true that an entire full-time position could be created just to update social media it is probably not the best use of company time. 

Anyone using Facebook on a regular basis can probably give a list of products and companies that come on too strong, are blatant in their advertising, and are annoying.  They can’t specify whose online brand presence is subtle and inviting, though.  Instead, they are out buying products from that company when the need arises.  They never even realize they were targeted, wooed and conquered.

December 09, 2011



Accountability-1
Today as we are earnestly working to establishing an online brand presence it is becoming harder and harder to separate our personal lives from work. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have been God-sends as far as getting our product out to a massive audience at virtually no cost to us, the producer, but it comes at a price. Consumers are savvy creatures and can spot a fake a mile away. Authenticity
is key
to a product or company’s survival in the virtual world.

Take for instance a start-up company ready to embrace their online brand presence and go to the next level. They hire specialists, marketing experts and web designers all to ensure more people see think of them when they need a product they produce. One of the start-up team also has a solo career and is promoting himself and his solo services. If the two clash and even a hint of dishonesty or plurality in message is detected by potential customers, both are dead in the water.

Authenticity means being aware of one’s brand and its values twenty-four-seven in all venues. The goal of online brand presence is for more and more people or broader and broader demographics to recognize a particular company as the expert in their field – the go-to for that service or product.
Of course, with different demographics different marketing strategies will be utilized, but they must remain constant in message and value.

Before customers ever visit your shop, call your number or order online they will be searching your website, blogs, and reviews. Haven’t authentic, consistent content on the web (regardless of its ormat) is the way to reassure customers before they even become customers. In some instances, savvy customers will search actual persons in the company before committing. That is why all employees being aware that online brand presence extends to personal lives is so important. One broken link in the chain of authenticity is all it takes to lose a potential customer.

Many people do not live the invasion of privacy building an online brand presence requires. It quickly begins to feel like Big Brother is always watching. While some may see it that way another view is that the more people are looking, the more they are buying. Online brand presence isn’t just about being noticed, it’s about gaining customers and convincing them that your company is worth their hard-earned money.

October 10, 2011



  Images

 

 

As part of our in depth blogs on creating a sustainable online brand presence we continue with the importance of fresh, optimized content for your website and how to establish your brand as an authority.

Online Brand Presence – Get Fresh

Keeping your content fresh is vital if you want to maintain an excellent online brand presence. The World Wide Web changes every day. You don’t want to spend your time reacting to what other businesses are doing on the internet; you want to create the buzz around your brand and business. If you have fresh content on your website on a regular basis, it is a sign to search engines that your site has something to offer. It will not only give you enhanced online visibility through a higher ranking but will go a long way to establishing your authority on the World Wide Web.

Online Brand Presence through Authority

This is not only important from an online perspective. Your business needs to present its authority to the world from every angle. As part of your online brand presence, your authority is established in a number of ways. The first, of course is by your ranking. A higher ranking means that your site is considered an authority in your specific niche. Of course some sites are ranked higher through dubious methods, but companies like Google will examine your site to see if your authority is real and whether or not you provide a service through your online brand presence. Sites that engage in ‘black-hat’ SEO techniques are penalized by Google for fraud.

The best way to create authority on the internet is to have unique, creative and useful content that has been written by a creative SEO copywriter, not a hack. Keep your website updated on a weekly basis at the very least. Establish links to other sites that are considered to have authority and forge relationships with businesses and sites on the internet that are complementary to yours.

You should be starting to see the inter relation of the elements of SEO and how to use them to enhance your online brand presence. You cannot just concentrate on one element at a time or only perform SEO on certain aspects of your online business. This is why many businesses hire SEO experts to advise them and create a solid campaign of integrated and congruent strategies.

See part 3 of “SEO that Works” for an introduction to the use of social media and technology and how it can have a positive effect on your online brand presence.

 

May 24, 2011



Tc_smartphone_class_515

As more and more people spend time online and on social networks like Facebook, the private and the professional are continuing to collide. In response to this collision, institutions are establishing policies about how professionals should conduct them online. Most recently, the Ontario College of Teachers released a report over their concerns that teachers are establishing relationships with their students on social media sites like Facebook.

Even though Facebook has many privacy settings that enable you to group different people together and change your settings based on the group, the teachers association is concerned with how electronic messages will effect students' relationships to their teachers inside the classroom. Facebook messages and other online activity don't allow for people to communicate as clearly as in person, and this online communication can effect how students learn, the association argues. 

At the same time, cyberbullying between students has become increasingly monitored by schools as online student relationships spur offline reactions that school officials must deal with. In some severe cases, students have been bullied so badly online that they have committed suicide -- increasing concern for school officials over social media activity. However, teachers participation in online discussions with their students are still seen as blurring the lines between professional and private and are in general still frowned upon. 

However, students are incredibly tech savvy and young people use text messages and Facebook to communicate some of their most important social actions. This means that their is also a necessity for schools to find a way that they can use social media and teach their students how to act professionally online. Many schools are now starting to have Facebook pages and increasing online presences -- making it more important than ever that they also educate their students in the classroom about how to effectively and professionally use social media to manage their professional and personal online reputations.

April 25, 2011



Today, writing comments on facebook is just as important as commenting on blogs. While it doesn't improve your SEO like writing comments on high ranking websites, it certainly can bring a lot of targeted traffic to your website and if done right, improve your online reputation. However, sometimes, when commenting on facebook their is a mistake in posting. Previously, the entire comment had to be deleted and re-posted -- until facebook updated its modification rules. Now users can edit their own comments on facebook immediately. 

To edit commentss, simply press the "x" icon in the upper-right hand corner of the commenting box and select "modify". However, this modification option only lasts for 10 seconds, afterwhich you'll have to delete the whole comment and start again -- the old way of commenting on facebook. 

Even though their is a time limit for modification, facebook's email system still sends two notes to all of the people who have commented on the post and the owner of the post -- first with your original comment and then with the edited comment. Edited comments also don't appear instantly and instead, users will need to refresh their facebook page before they see the changes made to the comments. 

While this new feature doesn't work perfectly, it is a small improvement from the past and can greatly help you to improve your online reputation and insure that each comment that you submit is perfect. If you're interested in learning more about this new feature, you can watch the quick tutorial that facebook created here:

 

 

November 25, 2010



There are many ways to improve and maintain your online reputation. One of our favorite, is using social media websites that provide free profiles like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and LookupPage. This makes it easy for people to improve their online reputation and spread the word about themselves. Job seekers and business owners are able to find information about you or your business and connect easily online. However, there are many other ways to improve your online reputation as well.

Another way to improve your online reputation is to create a string of comments on blogs and websites related to your profession or business. This is one the best free ways to improve your online reputation and if you post intelligent, positive comments, it can be a great way for people to get to know you and your business. In many of the comments online, you can also post links to your website or relevant articles you have written. This helps improve your search engine ranking and continue to create a positive image of you or your business online.

It's especially important that you carefully create and monitor your online reputation because nearly everything that you put online cannot be removed. Many human resources professionals, who are looking to hire employees, will most certainly look at your Google CV. If you have photos and articles written about your social life in college, it could make it much more difficult to get a job. This is why you'll want to make sure you're in control of all of the content that you put online and that you continue to be aware of your reputation as it builds.

September 24, 2010



When you’re just starting your business, there are so many different things to do. It can be difficult to know where to start and to get your business or personal brand off the ground as quickly as possible. While having a website is essential for any well established business, today nearly everyone is on facebook, and you can open a facebook page within a matter of minutes – making it easier than ever to create a home for your business.

Facebook pages are free and easy to use. They also offer you many easy marketing opportunities that will help you get the word out about your business or personal brand. Every facebook page has a place where you can fill out basic information about your business or organizations’ mission statement and contact information. One you have a logo, you can easily upload it to the facebook page so that people will start to recognize your logo and brand.

There are also many different tabs that you can add to your facebook page depending on what your business needs. For example, if you have many videos and photos, there are tabs specifically design to display this type of content as sub-pages on your facebook page.

Having a facebook page makes it very easy to market yourself because you can easily invite all of your facebook friends to become fans of your page. Once people are fans, any update that you post to your facebook page will show up in their news feed and they will be alerted about the happenings of your business or organization. If you have friends with facebook pages and complimentary businesses, they can favorite your page and it will appear on their facebook page as well, linking your business to theirs and helping fans discover related businesses and organizations improving your online reputation.

September 16, 2010



A great way to improve your online reputation is to run a fundraising or charity campaign for a cause you care about. Most everyone has a cause that they can get excited about or can be connected to their business, so it can be a great idea to invite people to get to know your business through a charity campaign. Especially if you make the charity campaign into a contest, you’ll get people talking about your business for all the good that they do and for the opportunity to win something for free.

Today it’s easier than ever to run an online charity event. One of the best online resources is CrowdSource. CrowdSource makes it easy for you to set up a web page to support your cause with pictures, videos and information about the campaign you’re running. Simply sign up for a free account, pick an existing charity that you want to submit your donations to and design your home page for your campaign.

One of the most successful ways to get people to donate to your cause is to make donating into a contest. For example, you could offer people who donate to your cause the opportunity to win a free ipad when they donate $25 or more. This gets people talking and activates them to contact their friends and invite them to donate. There have been many successful campaigns that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars like this and it will not only show how generous you and your business is, but give you a chance to collect thousands of emails of potential customers for your business and build your online reputation.

Lastly, when you're raising money for a cause, don't be afraid to tell people about your business. Paul Newman is one of the world's most successful entrepreneurs. His company has donated over $250 million dollars to charity just by donating a percentage of the profits from his products to charity. This proves that charity and business can be aligned and surely improve your reputation on and offline.

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