Archive for October, 2011

Tool To Check Your Search Rankings

Posted in Blogs, Websites on October 25, 2011 by wolfwomyn

Searching on Google for your keywords is indeed the simplest way to check your rankings, but it is not an effective one, because the search results you get on Google might not be the same that other people are getting.

Let’s suppose that you have a blog about celebrities, and that the main keyword you are targeting is “photos of celebrities.”

You could go to Google and search for “photos of celebrities”, and then check the position where your blog will appear. The problem is that the rankings you’ll see there are influenced by factors like your IP address, the language of your computer, your past search history and so on. This is part of an innovation Google introduced a while ago called “Personalized Search.”

For example, your blog might appear in the 5th position when you search for “photos of celebrities”, but this is so because you often click on your own website, so Google is artificially increasing the rankings of your blog when you search for it.

For all other people, however, your blog might be appearing in the 20th or 30th position.

So how do you find your real search rankings? There is a tool called Scroogle that you can use for this purpose. Here is the link: http://www.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/scraper.htm

It is basically a Google scraper that will get the search results from Google with an anonymous IP address, without storing cookies, without storing search-term records and so on.

When you run a search query on Scroogle, therefore, Google won’t have any past data about it, so the results will be the ones seen by the average Internet user.

You can make Scroogle show 100 results at a time, and after that you’ll just need to find where your website is positioned.

Nice trick eh?

Source: Daniel Scocco

Do You Understand the Bounce Rate Concept?

Posted in Websites on October 20, 2011 by wolfwomyn

Bounce rate is a very important metric for website owners. It basically tells you what percentage of your visitors are “bouncing” away after landing on your site (e.g., they just visit one page and leave before clicking on to a second page inside your site). A bounce can occur for several reasons, including:

* The visitor hit the “Back” button on his browser.
* The visitor closed his browser.
* The visitor clicked on one of your ads.
* The visitor clicked on one of your external links.
* The visitor used the search box on his browser.
* The visitor typed a new URL on his browser.

All the actions above would cause the visitor to leave your site. Provided he did any of these actions right after arriving at your site (and before clicking on to a second page), it would be counted as a bounce. In fact the formula for finding the bounce rate on your website is:

Bounce rate = Visits that left after one page / Total number of visits

For example, if during a certain month your site received 120,000 visits, out of which 80,000 bounced after visiting just one page, your bounce rate for that month would be 80,000 divided by 120,000, which equals to 0.66 (or 66%). Notice that you can calculate the bounce rate of your whole website or of single pages inside it.

Obviously the lower the bounce rate on your website, the better, because it means that visitors are getting engaged by your content and design, and that they are clicking to visit a second (third and so on) page on your site.

How do you know the exact bounce rate on your site? A web analytics program like Google Analytics will automatically track the numbers for you.

WHAT IS A LOW BOUNCE RATE?

At this point you might be asking yourself what a low bounce rate is. Is it 60%? Is it 30%? Unfortunately there is no definite answer for this question. What is considered to be a low bounce rate will vary, depending on the type of website that you have, on the sources that are sending traffic to you and so on.

Content based websites like blogs and news portals, for example, will naturally have a lower bounce rate than online stores or product based websites, because on the former visitors will want to read more articles, while on the latter they will either purchase something or leave right away.

If you want some ballpark numbers, consider that a bounce rate of 80% or higher is considered high, regardless of the type of website you have. Bounce rates between 40% and 80% are considered normal
for most websites, and a bounce rate below 40% is very good. Some content sites and squeeze pages can have bounce rates below the 20% mark, but this is rare.

In a future edition of the newsletter I’ll share some tips and  tricks you can use to reduce your bounce rate, so stay tuned!

Source: Daniel Scocco

What Drives Small Business Social Media Engagement?

Posted in Small Business on October 18, 2011 by wolfwomyn

Both Facebook and Twitter are two of the most popular platforms for small businesses. Unlike big brands that are already established, have a following and clout, small businesses have to earn each follower one by one. A new eMarketer study shows that small businesses would rather turn to Facebook (86 percent) than Twitter (33 percent), but both can be used to build brand awareness, customer acquisition, customer services and various other functions. It’s a challenge for a small business owner to invest time making social networking profiles on top of writing a business plan, pitching investors and potential customers, working on the strategy and day-to-day operations. A new study came out this week by Roost, a tech company focused on helping small businesses go social, about the best ways for small companies to achieve maximum engagement on social networks. In the study, ten thousand Facebook profiles and Twitter handles from 50 industries were evaluated.

1.  Publish photos

The photos that you publish on your Facebook fan page generate 50 percent more impressions for small businesses than any other post type. Facebook is one of the largest photo sharing services in the world. Photos can generate a lot of discussion because you can capture a moment, hundreds of words and emotion in a single picture. Small businesses should take pictures of their offices, of employees, and of the community around them. This way, your fans can get a better sense of who you are as brands and have a deeper connection with your company. You can also post pictures of things that relate to your company. For instance, if you own a restaurant, take pictures of the food, or if you own an online store that sells camping goods, take pictures of those products and people using them.

2.  Ask questions

One of the best ways to generate a discussion is to actually start the discussion and leave it open ended. This way, you welcome your community’s voice, without having to dictate. Questions generate almost two times as many comments as any other post type too. You should ask questions that challenge your fans and one’s that relate to the news. Hot news topics can create a lot of buzz and room for discussion. When fans comment on your page, it helps build your brand through their news feed.

3. Share quotes

The great thing about quotes is that they are informative, can prove your point, and also inspire your followers. As a small business, most people haven’t heard of you and probably don’t trust you. They do know and trust established brands that you can quote though! Quotes drive an average of 54 percent more retweets than any other type of tweet. Regular status updates are the second highest driver of engagement. From my experience, I found that quotes are easy to retweet because a lot of people agree with them if they are coming from a public figure.

Of course, there are other ways to create a strong brand on social networks such as publishing links, sharing free resources and promoting your page on other pages, groups and other channels. Building a fan base takes time and since you don’t have the marketing budget like Coca Cola, you’re going to have to work every day to earn each fan. In order to keep people engaged, you need to make sure you have fresh content every single day and that you’re paying attention to fan updates as much as possible. We live in a real-time world right now so the faster you engage with your audience, the more they will want to be part of your community.

Source: Dan Schawbel, Personal Branding Expert, Millennial Branding