Fast Five in Search – Week 11, 2014

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I’ve got a bit of a mixed bag for you today. The following is a handful of recent marketing-related posts that caught my eye or that I found interesting. Let’s get straight into it:

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Twitter is Bringing Promoted Accounts to Search Results by Anthony Ha of TechCrunch. If you’re a Twitter user, you’re probably already familiar with promoted tweets and promoted accounts – Twitter accounts that businesses use to advertise to users. Last week, Twitter announced that as well as seeing promoted tweets from these businesses in your timeline and search results, you may now also see account profiles as a new kind of ad unit. TechCrunch has the low-down on the changes.

2) Skip to the End: 5 Great Ways to Make Your Readers Care by Mike Sowden on ProBlogger. Here Mike tackles the age-old blogging problem of how to keep your audience interested and engaged. There are some clever suggestions in here for ways to hook your readers in to reading your current and future blog posts without resorting to gimmicks or give-aways.

3) 4 Surprising SEM Stats that Every e-Commerce Marketer Should Know by Jordan Elkind on Search Engine Land. With plenty of paid search advertising accounts to keep track of for clients, I like to keep an eye on large brush e-commerce statistics, particularly usage increases. In this post, Jordan shares the latest online shopping trends and e-commerce statistics from the 2013 holiday period.

4) An Introduction to PR Strategy for SEOs by Samuel Scott on the Moz Blog. Following some intense discussions at Moz.com regarding the death of guest blogging, Scott offers this interesting perspective that SEO and inbound marketing are just PR by another name.

and finally…

5) The Mashable Jobs Board by Emily Chow of Mashable. I’m not sure how I missed this, but apparently Mashable has been managing a Jobs Board for some years – a hiring hub for more than 3,000 employers, no less. If you are looking for a social media or marketing job in the digital space, you might want to check it out regularly.

Enjoy!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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Fast Five in Search – Week 8, 2014

fast-five

 

Howdy search fans! I’ve been busy researching lots of new juicy links for your viewing pleasure this week. The theme for the week is social, social and yet more social.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Social Media Stats Update 2013 by PewResearch. If you’re like me, you’re always chasing the latest Internet usage stats for an article, post or presentation. While looking for stats on social media last week, I found PewResearch had the most up to date data I could find, plus a free detailed downloadable report. For example, did you know that 73 percent of online adults now use a social networking site of some kind?

2) Free Social Media Analytics Reports by Simply Measured. Speaking of free data, if you like number crunching and deep social data analysis, check out Simply Measured’s free Social Media Analytics reports for Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Their Twitter Follower Report will download data on up to 10,000 followers of any public Twitter account. You can then import the data into Excel and do a deep dive into the current extent of your social reach and engagement – and better still – the untapped potential you have to grow it.

3) Social Media / Digital Stats by Digital Marketing Ramblings. Keeping with our theme of social stats, I stumbled upon this little gem of a blog while yak shaving. Editor Craig Smith pulls together original and curated news, tips and stats in the social media and digital space. If you’re looking for some offbeat stories in social, this is a great starting point.

4) Twitter Search by Topsy. We all died a little inside when Twitter and Google announced the end of their search relationship in 2011, signalling the end of Google’s Real Time search and the ability to search the full historical Twitter archive.  But did you realize that Topsy has always had this privilege? Apart from giving you the ability to search all public tweets since 2006, Topsy indexes and ranks search results from various social networks, based upon the most influential conversations about specific terms, topics, pages or domains queried. If that’s not enough to convince you, think about this: Apple acquired Topsy for over $200 million late last year.

and finally…

5) Beginner’s Guide to Social Media by Moz. Whether you’re a social media newbie or just looking to brush up on your social skills, this Moz Guide will teach you a thing or two. You can download it as a PDF or view it all online.

See you next week!

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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5 Must-Have Spreadsheets For Online Marketing Professionals

I_love_spreadsheets_hatAs an online marketing consultant and trainer for the past 15 years, I have used a LOT of online tools to help me do my job.

I’ve seen time-saving tools come and go in crazy peaks and troughs. I’ve also seen a few that have ridden the waves of consumer fascination to become permanent fixtures in the online marketer’s toolbox.

Below are 5 spreadsheet-based tools that I use myself or recommend on a regular basis:

1) Distilled’s MS Excel for SEOs – This Excel-based workbook is like a detailed instruction manual for SEOs on how to manipulate bulky data into logical form using Microsoft Excel. If you are an Excel wizard, you’ll love this tool. If not, you’ll probably need a week to wrap your head around the analysis, but it will be worth it – I promise.

2) HubSpot’s Blog Editorial Calendar Template – If you are a content curator or social media marketer, this template will save your life. It simplifies calendar-based content allocation and helps you prioritize content deadlines and build an annual strategy to meet multiple marketing campaign objectives.

3) Shimon Sandler’s PPC Campaign Kick-Off Template – this Excel template is quite a few years old now, but I still use it as a starting point when kicking off a new AdWords or Bing Ads campaign for a client. It helps you and your client to focus on the big picture objectives and build a unique campaign to suit specific requirements rather than implementing a cookie-cutter PPC campaign that needs tweaking to fit.

4) Google SEO Rank Checker Spreadsheet – a recent discovery, this customizable Google Docs template is all kinds of awesome. It includes a clever integration of ImportXML that allows you to collect at-a-glance keyword rankings on Google in real time.

5) Outspoken Media’s Link Building Spreadsheet – another Google Drive shared doc, this is a customizable template consisting of a gigantic list of link building strategies collated by Rhea Drysdale and her team at Outspoken Media.
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Fast Five in Search – Week 39, 2013

fast-fiveIf you’re wondering what the latest Google Hummingbird update is all about, or how to get the most out of your analytics data, or how others are forging the social media frontier – this week’s Fast Five is for you!

How Google is Changing Long-Tail Search with Efforts Like Hummingbird – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin
Over the past few years, as our confidence in Google has grown, long-tail search queries have steadily increased. In an effort to keep pace with this growing trend Google’s latest Hummingbird update has focussed on the text analysis of search queries. Rand Fishkin takes a closer look at what Hummingbird means for SEO.

Study Reports 40% of Top Instagram Videos Were Brand-Created by Kelsey Jones
The latest study by Unruly demonstrates the power of video marketing when it comes to social shares. This post contains some interesting figures and a definite nudge for those who haven’t embraced social video yet.

Why Visitor Analytics Aren’t Enough for Modern Marketers by Rand Fishkin
How can we tell if conversions coming through Pinterest (or some other channel) have a greater long term value than those coming through our email list? Or what data do we need to convince our boss that a channel is worth pursuing in the first place? All these items are addressed by Rand in this great post.

Social Media: How Much Do You Really Need to Invest? By Tina Courtney-Brown
Do you have a niche business? How much should social media marketing be embraced or ignored? And what can we learn from other people’s blunders – like the Funeral Parlour business which promoted a “happy hour” special on Facebook?

And now, for an even broader perspective…

Google Developing Tools to Help Fight For Free Expression by Megan Abraham
Earlier this week Google announced its collaboration on the development of three tools to aid people living in repressive nations. Megan describes how uProxy, Digital Attack Map and Project Shield will change the world (for the better).

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless

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Embeddable Facebook Content Now a Reality

eye-see-facebookEver tried to embed content from Facebook into your web site or blog? Frustrating isn’t it? Usually you have to use a 3rd party plugin or use a messy code hack and it’s almost impossible to get it to display properly on all browsers.

Well, it seems Facebook have been listening to the sighs of Webmasters everywhere and the company is finally introducing Facebook Embeddable Posts.

What Are They?

Embedded Posts are a way to publish public posts (by a Page or person) on Facebook into your web page or blog.

The embedded post will show media attached to it, as well as the number of likes, shares, and comments that the post has. Embedding posts will let people visiting your web site see the same information that is shown on Facebook.com. Embedded posts will even enable people to follow or like content authors or Pages directly from the embedded location.

It’s important to note that only public posts from Facebook Pages and profiles can be embedded.

How to Embed Facebook Posts

To embed a post, follow these steps:

1) Go to the post you want to embed.

2) Check if the post is public by hovering over the audience selector (you’ll see a globe icon if it is).

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3) Click the down arrow icon in the top right corner of the post and select Embed Post. You will see a dialog appear with the code to embed your post in it.

fb-embed24) Copy the code that appears and paste it to your own blog post or web page

How Does it Work?

The code in the Embedded Post dialog box includes a Facebook SDK for JavaScript snippet which gets saved into your web page code. If you already include this snippet elsewhere on your page, you can remove it if you wish, although it will not cause any issues if included twice.

Currently, you can’t customize how Embedded Posts are displayed on your page because the size of the post is fixed to the same dimensions as it appears on Facebook.

If you embed a very long post, it will get truncated with a “see more” option. Clicking “see more” will display the full post on your web page.

If you embed a post and the author later deletes it or changes the post audience selector from public to private, a message will display in place of the embedded post: “The page you requested is no longer available. The post may have expired or the privacy settings may have changed”.

What Does it Mean?

This new feature provides huge advantages to businesses with a Facebook page. The Embed Post functionality will enable companies to quickly publish and syndicate their social content from Facebook on their web sites and – more importantly – allow their customers to interact with their Facebook channel directly from their main business site.

The result should be a more streamlined social media process and greater potential for more social interactivity on company web sites rather than on 3rd party social sites. The Facebook water cooler will be moving to the company office! For businesses that haven’t yet seen the value in creating a Facebook presence, this feature might just be the tipping point.

When Can I Use it?

The feature is being rolled out this week to just a handful of large media sites, including CNN, Bleacher Report, Huffington Post, Mashable and People. It will be rolled out to the general public over the next few weeks.

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