20 posts categorized "Weblogs"

February 10, 2012

All too often a small business has a great product or service but can’t understand why their enhanced online visibility is nowhere to be found.  Quite often the problem isn’t their service or products but rather their inability to reach their target audience.  When working on a company online marketing plan with the goal of building and maintaining an enhanced online visibility target audiences must be thoroughly researched and decided upon before attempting online marketing strategies.

Enhanced Online Visibility – Begin at the Beginning

When developing one’s target audience for online marketing with the intent being to increase enhanced online visibility a small business should start by making a physical list of all the attributes of their target customer(s).  Are they male or female? What income level? What education level?  All these question matter when determining where time and resources should be spent in regards to online strategies.

Enhanced Online Visibility – Think like the Customer

Once the target audience has been thought through and a  list of attributes for each target customer has been assigned the small business owner must determine where their target audience will be online.  If one determines their largest pool of target customers is sixty to eighty years old and of limited means what are the odds of their being active on Twitter and Facebook?

Although the target customer, originally determined, may be that demographic and Facebook may not be a good meeting ground one must take a second look at their target audience.  Would the target customers’ children be on Facebook and Twitter? Might online marketing aimed at them rather than their parents for whom the product or service is designed be more practical?

Enhanced Online Visibility – Trust in the Numbers

After enacting various online marketing strategies such as social media, blogs and forum posting on industry blogs every small business owner needs to make the time on a regular basis to check the numbers to see if their hard work in the online community is paying off.  There are several programs and websites dedicated to analytics that will clearly show where traffic is coming from and the demographic composition of one’s traffic.  Even a simple Google search of the business name will give one an idea of how their business’s enhanced online visibility is doing.

It is easy when creating and structuring an online marketing plan to forget the very foundation of any business – the customers.  Online marketing allows a business exciting new ways to market their business, interact with current and future customers and keep an eye on the competition.  All of that is for naught, though, if a business’s enhanced online visibility is lacking due to mistargeting of audience.

February 09, 2012

One of the proven ways to build one’s online brand presence is to be active in industry forums, social media and other’s blogs.  This activity usually takes the form of making thoughtful and compelling comments – not blatant advertising of one’s product or service.  Best practice recommends that to really build online brand presence one must always include a link back to the company blog or website when posting said comments. 

Understandably, after a few dozen comments it becomes difficult to keep track of all the blogs, forums and social media pages upon which one commented in an effort to monitor the ongoing conversations so that online brand presence can continue to be built.  Since this is a universal problem several new programs are available online to do that job exactly.  Below are a few programs that will make monitoring one’s online brand presence incredibly easy so that time and energy can be spent on more important components of creating and maintaining a business’s online brand presence.

Backtype – This is great for monitoring blog comments across the web.  Once one comments on a blog and includes a link to their blog or website Backtype will update any new activity on the blog saving time and energy.  This service can also be used to monitor trends and discussion in one’s industry which comes in useful for the company blog.

Google Alerts – One can now tame the search engine giant by setting up Google Alerts which notify one when a pre-entered phrase or business name is mentioned any where on the internet whether that be in a blog, forum or article.  This is great for monitoring a business’s online brand presence.

Twitter Search – For those small business’s investing their online marketing time on Twitter keeping up with all the Tweets can be exhausting.  Enter Twitter Search.  One can search for all the instances a company’s name is mentioned in a tweet and then choose to respond or not respond.  One of the keys to maintaining online brand presence is constant communication.  Tools like Twitter Search help keep one on top of social media.

Friend Feed – Similar to Twitter Search this tool helps businesses keep an eye on all social media activity that mentions the business name.  An ongoing log is presented that pulls from all the major social media sites. The temptation with a tool such as this is to spend as much time monitoring Friend Feed as one would the individual sites which doesn’t really save time or increase online brand presence.

February 08, 2012

Hopefully, by this point in the year small business owners are finally able to catch their breaths and analyze if their enhanced online visibility is working out for them.  We’ve gone over several strategies that a business of any size can employ to beef up their enhanced online visibility in the past, but if the numbers are still not where they should be there are a few more tips and strategies one can try.

The first thing that every small business should be doing regularly, regardless of whether one’s enhanced online visibility appears to be thriving, is check out the competition.  This is not something with which one should be obsessed but it never hurts to take a peek every month or so to see what the immediate competition is doing to improve their enhanced online visibility. 

By immediate competition I mean those businesses that are in one’s immediate vicinity and has been known to take a customer or two.  This may be geographically if one is operating a brick and mortar store or it may be an internet store.  No matter who one’s immediate competition may be it is always a good idea to see what they are doing on their social media pages, blog and website.  Of course, one would never steal ideas or strategies from a competitor but if they appear to be thriving one can always see where they put their energy. Is it Facebook, the company blog, or better web content?   

After studying the competition a small business can take a fresh look at their strategies aimed at building an enhanced online visibility.  Rather than duplicate what the competitor down the street is doing successfully one can try and find a unique strategy with the same goal.  If the competitor has a killer Twitter account a small business might want to focus on the Facebook page.  If blogging seems to be where the customers are then finding creative new tactics should be one’s focus.

This review and reevaluation of one’s strategies for gaining an enhanced online visibility should be done on a regular basis whether one’s business is suffering or soaring.  For those stagnate this process should be done more often.  Enhanced online visibility requires hard work and diligence to be maintained.  Even small businesses employing great strategies and staying on top of trends will have to commit to a large amount of work to keep their enhanced online presence thriving.

February 07, 2012

It is understandable how managing several social media sites, a company blog, website content and forum reading and posting in an effort to create and maintain an online brand presence quickly becomes overwhelming for a small business owner.  In an effort to do it all some small business owners may assign tasks to other employees.  There is nothing wrong with multiple people within a business handling the various online marketing strategies as long as there is a consistency of voice.  If the voice of one’s brand wavers online brand presence is actually hindered rather than helped.

To avoid hurting one’s delicate and new online brand presence there are a few consistency tips any small business owner can adopt to help avoid costly mistakes.

Online Brand Presence – Consistence User Name

This seems too easy but it can be a problem for small businesses.  When joining forums and other online communities a small business must always have the same user name no matter who is doing the writing.  If multiple user names are created customers and fans of the business may become confused, or worse, not realize that one business is behind all of the posting which is the opposite of one’s online brand presence goals.

Online Brand Presence – All Writers Understand Goals

Behind every great online marketing strategy should be even better goals.  These should be decided upon before a single Facebook or blog strategy is even discussed.  Once the goals are clearly defined any employee managing a specific strategy can stay on course since the goals are set in place and understood.

Online Brand Presence – Monitor the Brand

Even the best laid plans, clear goals and consistent writing will do no good if one’s online brand presence isn’t established.  To ensure this top priority is being met every small business owner should search their brand regularly.  For some this will mean weekly, for others almost every day.  Sometimes a search (on several search engines) will allow a clear and unbiased look at how the strategies are working.  If consistency is an issue a good search should expose it.

Regardless of how a small business goes about establishing their online brand presence consistency must be kept in the forefront of all writers.  Although this is an issue primarily when there is more than one writer a lack of consistency can still pop up with one writer if the writer doesn’t stick to the previously established goals and not let mood or emotions interfere with the job at hand. 

January 31, 2012

Most small businesses now understand the value of social media, blogs and website content when creating and maintaining their online brand presence.  Once all of those components are up and running, however, it is easy to become overwhelmed and begin to fall behind in updates.  Before ever committing to various online strategies an online marketing plan must be created including goals and strategies.  Most important in the plan should be schedules. 

Each individual piece of the online marketing plan runs on a different schedule to maximize online brand presence.  Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter should be updated at least once a day. Blogs should have at least one post per week, preferably three to five.  Websites should be updated as information chances and at least once a month to keep content fresh.  Industry forums should be visited on a regular basis with comments added.

With all these different schedules anyone can see how a small business can quickly lose track and inadvertently lose online brand presence.  That is why setting up concrete schedules for each arm of one’s online marketing campaign is absolutely necessary to meet goals.  As goals are met or are changed schedules must also be reevaluated.

 Businesses should pay close attention to analytics in order to revise schedules as needed.  For instance to keep engagement at its peak and online brand presence at a maximum a business might discover that posting comments on social media three times a day is ideal.  Any more posts and the numbers remain the same; any fewer posts and the numbers drop.  In that case the social media scheduling should be changed to reflect the analytics.

While keeping up with scheduling is crucial to the success of online marketing and building an online brand presence small businesses must not forget their goals.  Social media, blogging and a business website are all great tools at gaining a great online brand presence but are not the same as sales.  The focus of any online marketing plan should always be to gain and retain customers – not get as many ‘subscribers’ on Facebook as possible.

With so much at stake in today’s company and more and more small to mid-size businesses focusing their marketing online all businesses, regardless of their industry, must bring their A-game to truly build an online brand presence.  By starting with the basics of developing a solid marketing plan and realistic schedules reflecting the goals of that plan a true online brand presence can be attained.

January 27, 2012

We talk a lot about the importance of blogging to create online brand presence and while that is true there is a component of the blog that is often times overlooked.  In short, a blog is a social experience which builds community around one’s service or product.  If a business views their blog this was online brand presence is greatly enhanced.  If they see their blog as a way to increase search engine rank or make a sale online brand presence will be slow in attaining.

A blog might seem like a lonely task, information only going in one direction, from the writer to the audience, but in fact it is an online conversation.  A recent article explained just how important the social aspect of blogging really is to building an online brand presence.  Within the article several tips were given for small businesses to keep in mind when writing blog posts.

Online Brand Presence through Blogging – Communicate

The audience is every bit as important as the writer as a blogpost is a conversation not a lecture.  A post should pose questions to the audience and expect answers in the form of comments.  One relatively new way to engage readers and promote comments is to add social media buttons to each post.  These are small Facebook ‘like’ and Twitter ‘tweet’ buttons that allow readers to send a link to the blog post to their respective social media account.  This is one of the best ways to create and maintain online brand presence available today.

Online Brand Presence through Blogging – Content

While the content will be ultimately determined by one’s industry there are certain topics that readers do not want to see in a post. Small businesses should refrain from technically complicated (above their average audience’s knowledge) information, bland industry news and vulgarity.  Controversial topics are great if they are not too divisive.  Controversy can be a great conversation starter or it can be damaging.  Topics should be part of the overall social media plan with controversial topics one possible strategy to increase online brand presence.

Once a small business gets the hang of writing a blog and is beginning to see involvement from their target audience it is time to take their writing to the next level and seriously begin working on their online brand presence.  By becoming aware of subtle manipulations to one’s company’s blog can make the time invested writing and maintaining it well worth it. Building and creating online brand presence is a job all in itself and when a business works smarter they reach their goals quicker.

March 09, 2010

One of the most important parts of online reputation management is the ability to know when and where a conversation is occurring that relates to your brand – and ideally to know it right away, so you can positively engage in the conversation. With many next-generation tools, such as Twitter, this process is made seamless and simple through search services offered by the tools themselves. Blogs, however, are another matter entirely. Although blogs are often interconnected, and some reside on central services, for the most part they are independent entities, so there is no integrated search feature.

Luckily, a number of services have arisen to fill this niche. These services allow you to monitor the vast majority of blogs online for any buzz about your personal brand or keywords related to your brand. This way you can pop in to comment on a new post, pull positive quotes to use in your own materials, or arrange link trades to help boost your visibility.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is one of the most popular ways to keep up on your personal brand, not only in blogs but also in news items, general web searches, Google Groups, and videos. The search allows you to decide which areas you want searched for your terms, how often you want them searched, and how many results you want displayed. You then enter an email address and Google Alerts will send you regular updates telling you where your brand has been discussed on the internet.


Technorati is arguably the most used, and most powerful way to search blogs and receive updates on key phrases in new blog posts. The service indexes hundreds of thousands of blogs, as well as keeping up on news clippings. This enormous database can then be quickly searched for appearances of your brand name. From that search you can generate an RSS feed, which will give you immediate updates when a new blog post appears anywhere in the blogosphere that mentions your brand.


If you’re interested in watching only a select few blogs, rather than the entire blogosphere, a service like WatchThatPage may prove to be more useful. This site allows you to create a list of pages that you want to monitor. You can then receive updates whenever the page is updated, or only when specific changes have been made to the change. For example, you could compile a list of your competitors’ blogs and business pages, and set it to alert you whenever your brand is mentioned on any of those pages, to keep appraised of negative spin they may be attempting to generate.


An alternative to WatchThatPage, Rollyo lets you create a dynamic search based on a search string that checks anything from the entire internet to specified list of sites. This search can then be turned into an RSS feed to give you regular updates. Although newer than WatchThatPage, Rollyo offers a number of additional tools, including a Firefox extension and other widgets to help keep you up to date more seamlessly.

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February 15, 2010

While there are many different tools one can use to manage their online reputation, there are a handful that stand head-and-shoulders above the rest. These three, particularly, have a great deal of clout, and can be used in almost any situation to improve an online brand.

WordPress Website

Image representing WordPress as depicted in Cr...

WordPress is the premiere blogging platform used in the world, with more than 200 million blogs running on the software. It is built with user interaction in mind, and features an incredibly-intuitive backend that anyone can learn to use in a short period of time. Running a blog on Wordpress is one of the best ways to be featured near the top of search results, because the very nature of blogs lends itself quite well to having a great deal of search engine relevant content

Search engines are occupied with many things, but one of the most important factors in determining relevance is the freshness of content. Because blogs encourage their users to update frequently, search engines such as Google look at them regularly to see that the content has changed. And tools like WordPress actually include built in features that let a number of different websites and services know whenever new content is posted, so that each new post is echoed around the web, offering many hooks for search engines to pick up your content.


LookupPage is an incredibly high-ranking business directory that gives members an inside view of who exactly is viewing their profile on the web. Businesses and personalities can use LookupPage to quickly establish a presence on the web with no hassle at all. Sign Up with LookupPage When members sign up with sign up with LookupPage they create a basic profile for themselves, putting down important information about their business, uploading a logo, and generally creating a business-card style presence on the web.

The reason LookupPage is powerful is that 95% of LookupPage Pro users are featured on Google’s first page. This gives a business or personality a place for information that they input and have total control over, presented in a professional manner. The LookupPage pro offering has no ads, and keeps close track of who is viewing the profile, so that businesses can analyze who is landing there, what they searched for to arrive there, and other key data.


Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Because of Twitter’s very strong web presence, a Twitter username will very often show up in the first page of search results for that term. As a result, setting up a free Twitter account using a personal name or a business name can be an easy, quick, and effective way to establish a first page listing. Twitter allows information to be personalized, a custom icon to be uploaded, which may be a photograph or company logo, and the background to be customized.

Additionally, a Twitter account can be used to publish occasional updates promoting positive aspect of one’s business. These updates will then be displayed on the highly-ranked profile page. This is a great way to manage one’s brand and reach out to potential and existing customers for free, and with very little time investment.

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