Recently Women In Consulting hosted Ann Evanston of Warrior-Preneur for a live Q&A on WIC’s Facebook wall. As WIC’s Online Marketing Director, I oversaw the event. Leilani Madrazo Yau, WIC’s Facebook Coordinator, did an amazing job planning and running the event.
Here are the questions and answers from the live Q&A. I have consolidated some answers a bit so they read better as an article (vs. many short comments on the Facebook wall). To see the entire Facebook Q&A go to the WIC Facebook page and look for the event that took place on March 17th from 10-11am.
Q: I own a travel and e-commerce website. On my blog I post about everything from our broken education system to “do kids need recess and exercise?” I also blog about travel - travel tips, my favorite places, etc. Is this OK or will people who visit my blog be unsure about what I actually “DO”? Is there some point in the future where my blog posts should only be about what I do or should I continue blogging about things I am passionate about?
A: Honestly it isn’t what you write about that’s the problem on your blog, it’s all the clutter that detracts from what you do. Write about what you are passionate about, but clean up the clutter and make it EASY for people to see your portals.
Q: If one knows nothing about SEO, how can they make sure they have keywords in their blogs to help them with page ranking?
A: Make this your best friend: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal First make a list of words you THINK are key – then look them up and see. Use keywords in titles, categories and anchor text on every post.
Q: Mine is not a question, but a blogging concern. My concern is with having enough content to post a lot because I know you’re supposed to post a lot to get up there in the rankings. And also, where do I get content that fits my niche?
A: I find when I really work with clients they have TONS to write about. So a few things to think about: Post 3 times a week until viral, then less because blogging comments keep you in search engine rankings. Consider the length of your posts, most are TOO long, aim for 250-400 words. Better to do more posts on the same subject matter than one long post to keep them coming back. Your blog should also be about more than what you do – it should also be about who you are.
Q: I am in the process of converting my personal blog to a .com site. My business blog has the .wordpress.com tail on it. I can’t change that to a .com site unless I rename it which then kind of messes with branding. Do you see it as a problem in the future to have the business blog as a WordPress site?
A: If you go buy your URL hosting takes care of naming it, so why not buy the URL for what comes before the WordPress? I only recommend WordPress blogs to my business clients – it’s the best. I 100% own warrior-preneur and it’s all on WordPress.
Q: Is there a best day of week/time of day to post new blog articles?
A: Tues-Weds-Thurs, and the SAME time of DAY, EVERYDAY, every TIME you post. It doesn’t matter the time of day, morning is relevant in a global economy, just consistency on when you post – readers come to expect it. As an fyi, Wednesday afternoon is the busiest on Facebook, Tuesday morning on Twitter.
Q: Is there a “perfect blog” that we can go look at to get an idea of what ours should look like for optimization?
A: No, no such thing really. It is best to know your brand and your target market and design for them. A 20 year old student is attracted to different things than a 45 year old mother of two small children.
Q: Whom do you recommend for hosting a blog?
A: Host monster. I have been using them for a year. It is reliable, has great customer service and affordable.
Q: What is the best way to attract people to reading my blog?
A: Things that impact readers on your blog: 1 – you moderate, 2 – no call to action. You should allow comments to post without moderation. Also I find that engaging in the blogging community is the FASTEST way to get readers and a consistent following of fans.
Q: What are the advantages of doing video blogging? Do you have any “best practices”?
A: Video allows you to “double dip” into the LARGEST website – YouTube – another social media site. Same rules apply – keep videos short (2-3 minutes) and packed full of great information. I had a client that did one that was 4 minutes long. We surveyed it and found most people did not finish it because they thought it was too long. Let’s face it – the social space is about great information in “sound bites”.
Q: Everyone I know who is an expert on building your own website says to buy the domain name from GoDaddy and then “marry it” to your hosting account. But host monster hosting comes with a free domain – should I still buy it from GoDaddy, and what are the advantages?
A: Well they are going to go buy it for you basically, which means they own the URL. I tell all my clients to buy and OWN their URLs. Don’t let anyone else own them. So buy from Go Daddy, then route to blog or website.
Q: Do you recommend creating some sort of content/editorial calendar for your blog?
A: I do! HUGE time saver actually, and it helps you prep your mind about “what” to write about. Mine is done for the year!
Q: What’s a good bounce rate? And what should you do if you have a high bounce rate?
A: This is a REALLY complicated issue. But typically a high bounce rate means what you have set up for SEO which leads to clicks, is not what those people are looking for, so they leave immediately. But many other factors can play a part, design, flash, clutter, etc…
If you have other blogging suggestions, feel free to share!
*This article was originally posted on the Women In Consulting blog and has been modified to run here.
Is social media part of your business strategy? A recent study by Access Markets International reports nearly 70% of US small businesses use social media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs. If you haven’t jumped in yet, you are at a competitive disadvantage. At around 500 million active users (60% larger than the entire US population), Facebook has the largest audience of the social media destinations and is a great place to do business.
There are a few ways you can use Facebook for business, so let’s look at the options. First, you can use your personal profile. Facebook makes it easy to set up lists within your list of friends, so you can set up a list for business and post information to this list.
Or, you can set up a Group or business Page. Pages have become much more popular than Groups. The benefits of a Page include: posts show up on the Walls of people that Like your page, posts appear with a business image versus an individual’s personal profile picture, and Pages show up in search engine results. You may want a Group if you want to limit membership to a select group (anyone can Like a Page).
For the majority of businesses, a Page is the way to go. Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Develop objectives. Is your goal to establish yourself as a thought leader within your field, increase leads, build community, sell product, provide customer support? It is important to create objectives so your strategies map back to business objectives.
2. Choose the Page name and set up the vanity URL. The vanity URL makes it easy for people to find your Page. When you have at least 25 fans you can set this up. For example, your vanity URL would be something like http://www.facebook.com/businessname. Be very careful about choosing your vanity URL as this cannot be changed.
3. Pick an image for the Wall. This image will show up on the top left of the Page and the entire image, or a portion, will be used for the thumbnail when you post. For ease, you can select a square image. The thumbnail uses a square image, so if you choose a square image, your thumbnail can be your entire image. Or, you can select an image up to 180×540 (but make sure there is a square portion that will be suitable for your thumbnail).
4.Develop a content strategy. A good rule of thumb is to post once a day. If you have more or less to share, you can post more or less frequently. The most important thing is to post content that is valuable to your subscribers. Mix up the posts. Posts can include links to blog posts, relevant articles, tips, special offers, new products or services, events, pictures, videos, etc. Mix it up and get creative.
5. Promote your Page. Users generally don’t find Pages from searches. Instead they learn about Pages from sites and other promotions. The best initial way to promote your Page is to use Facebook’s tool and suggest your friends Like the page. Some other ways to promote your Page include adding a Facebook icon on your website and blog, adding an URL (or link) on all marketing materials – business cards, email signatures, email and newsletters, presentations, direct mail, and adding your Page link to your LinkedIn profile. Advertising on Facebook can be very effective as Facebook offers highly targeted ads at often low rates.
6. Increase interaction. For your page to go viral you need people to comment and Like your posts, and write on your wall. Interaction is also important because you want to appear on the “Top News” tab versus the “Most Recent” tab, and Facebook favors Pages with higher interaction. Tips include posting highly relevant content, phrasing posts to entice interaction, and including images.
7. Develop a conversion strategy. If a primary goal is to increase Likes, you can add a Welcome tab where visitors land that tells them about the page and asks them to Like. Other conversion tactics might include adding an email sign up form and promoting live events. More advanced tactics might include providing a store front and running a contest. Facebook really is a game changer for small businesses. It offers free access to a huge population of active internet users. Many small businesses are benefiting. So why are you waiting? Jump in!
Rachel will be speaking about this topic at the Midpeninsula Professional Alliance 9/21 breakfast meeting at Scott’s Seafood in Town & Country Village in Palo Alto, CA. The meeting is open to all. Click here to register.
Hello and welcome to my blog on digital marketing. Stay tuned for my thoughts on what’s new and exciting in the world of digital marketing.