6 Proven Ways to Get More Facebook LIKES

No Comments » Written on April 17th, 2011 by
Categories: Facebook, Social Media

Facebook ‘LIKES’, which recently replaced the Facebook SHARE button, are becoming more and more important as part of a social media marketing plan.  Here are 6 proven ways to get more Facebook ‘LIKES':

1.  Post a Status Update.

Post a status update talking about your Facebook Page and don’t be afraid to ask for people to ‘LIKE’ it. Be sure to make the update newsworthy, something that will either add value or give great information to your Friends. Remember, Facebook is not a “Set it and forget it” thing. You must consistently update and engage people to get their attention.

2.  Suggest Your Page to Friends.

When you first created your Facebook Page you had the opportunity to share it with all your Friends. Periodically, it makes sense to share it again, particularly as you add valuable content to your page, or after you have added new friends who may not have heard about your Page.

3.  Link Your Business Page as a Place of Employment.

At the top of the new Facebook profile page it lists your employment and education, among other things. Edit your profile employment page and list your Facebook Business Page as the first “employer”. That page will then get linked at the top of your profile page.

4.  Create a Landing Page.

Facebook gives you the ability to add a custom page that gets listed along with ‘Wall’, ‘Info’, etc. Create a custom page, and offer an incentive to ‘LIKE’ your page.  For example you might offer a 20% discount, or give away a free report to anyone who ‘LIKES’ your page.

5.  Add a ‘LIKE’ Button to Your Web Site.

The ‘LIKE’ button is no longer just being used on Facebook. You can now add a ‘LIKE’ button to your web site. When someone clicks that button, they will taken to Facebook where they can login to their page. The fact that they clicked your  ‘LIKE’ button will then added to their NewsFeed along with a link back to your page. This has become such a powerful way to drive traffic to your Facebook page that some marketers believe the ‘LIKE’ button may soon replace hyperlinks in some ways.

6.  Get a Custom Facebook Address.

When you first created your Facebook Page you were able to link to it using a rather long, and convoluted address like this http://www.facebook.com/pages/CapitalRegionWebDesign/188037501208101. Once you get 25 people to ‘LIKE’ your page you can get a custom address or URL for your Facebook Page. Our Facebook Page is located at http://www.facebook.com/CapitalRegionWebDesign.  Once you get your custom Facebook address be sure to promote it wherever you promote your web site address, e.g. business cards, letterhead, etc.

 

Closed Captioning for Web Videos

No Comments » Written on June 23rd, 2010 by
Categories: accessibility, Video

Apparently the issue of web site accessibility and multimedia content on web pages has gotten a lot of attention lately. There is currently a bill before Congress that would make closed captioning mandatory for any web video that also appears on TV.

Right now, if this bill became law, it would only affect the major players of web-based video. But, it could eventually filter down to smaller operations as well. Some web sites like YouTube use voice recognition software to produce closed captioning, but it is still very inaccurate. To manually transcribe one hour of video costs approximately $90 (this works out to about $1.50/min). And, there are some technical hurdles that must cleared to synchronize the text with the video.

The Federal 508 web site accessibility guidelines state the following for multimedia content:

(b) Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.

(k) A text-only page, with equivalent information or functionality, shall be provided to make a web site comply with the provisions of this part, when compliance cannot be accomplished in any other way. The content of the text-only page shall be updated whenever the primary page changes.

All web content authors should keep this issue on their radar, as it is certainly going to become a bigger one as web video becomes more and more popular.

4 Reasons Why You Absolutely Need to Use Google Places for Your Business

No Comments » Written on April 29th, 2010 by
Categories: Google, search engines, SEO
Tags:

More and more people are using search engines to find information about local products and services. Google Places, formerly known as Google Local Search is a must have for local businesses who want to capitalize on this phenomenon.

Here are the 4 reasons why you absolutely should create a listing on Google Places for your business:

  1. Google Places allows you to submit detailed information about your business for free. This information includes your street address, email address, description of products and services offered, hours of operation, payment options, photos of your products and storefront, and videos.
  2. Your business will appear in Google Maps. Once you submit your listing Google will show your location on Google Maps along with the information located above. You can even adjust the map pointer if it doesn’t show your location as accurately as it should.
  3. You can offer printable coupons for customers. Google Places will allow you to submit coupon information complete with an expiration date that your customers can print and bring to your business.
  4. Statistical information. When you are logged into your Google Places page you can view analytics showing how many times your listing was viewed, where visitors came from, what keywords they used to find you, and even how many times they downloaded your coupon.

While setting up your Google Places listing is fast and easy, I would strongly recommend that you not “set it and forget it”. You or someone in your company should review the descriptions, email address, photos, and coupons in your listing to be sure they continue to be accurate and timely.

Google Helps You Make Your Site Into a Portal

No Comments » Written on March 29th, 2010 by
Categories: Google, search engines
Tags:

Most web site owners are always looking for ways to drive traffic to their site. Google’s Custom Search may be another tool you can add to your arsenal. With Google’s Custom Search you can create a collection of web sites that are specific to your industry and wrap them into a search engine powered by Google.

By placing this custom search box on your home page you can attract visitors who are looking to do targeted keyword searched for topics relative to your expertise.

Setting up a custom search engine in Google requires that you have a Google account. From the Custom Search home page you simply follow the screens to name and customize your search. If you are a qualified not-for-profit or an educational organization you can even suppress the Google text ads that appear on your search results pages.

In addition, you can customize the look and feel of the results page to reflect your branding.

Google’s Custom Search service is free and is different from their Site Search service which is a hosted, fee-based product that Google offers to businesses.

YouTube Solves Accessibility Problems in Video

No Comments » Written on November 20th, 2009 by
Categories: Google, Video, YouTube

There is no debate that web video has revolutionized the way in which web site visitors have consumed information. The problem is that videos are not natively accessible. This has left the hearing and vision impaired public largely out of this revolution.

While Google has offered a captioning service for videos uploaded to YouTube for a few years now, it still required video owners to add the captioning tracks manually. As a result the majority of videos on YouTube don’t have them and they are therefore inaccessible.

Yesterday, Google announced a new automatic captioning service for YouTube. Google is using their speech recognition software to allow video owners to automatically add video captions to their videos. This new service works by having the video owner upload a text file of the speech in their video. Google’s speech recognition software matches the text to the audio track and outputs the caption to the video. Since speechrecognition technology is still evolving Google is rolling out this service to a select few partners first. National Geographic and PBS are two that will test this new feature on their YouTube channels.

This new feature should significantly lower the barrier for video owners to add captions to their videos and allow a large segment of the Internet public to make use of those videos. If that weren’t reason enough, it will also improve the search rankings for videos that include captions.

How to create a link to a specific spot in your Youtube video

No Comments » Written on November 13th, 2009 by
Categories: Video, YouTube

Linking to a video on Youtube is a simple matter. But, have you wanted to link to a specific time in that video? This can be helpful if your video contains sections or chapters, and you want to allow your viewers to jump right to that specific section.

To link to a certain time on a Youtube video requires you to edit the link that Youtube gives you. But first, you need to find the time in minutes and seconds. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Go to your video on Youtube.
  2. Go to the part of your video you want to link to and pause it.
  3. Put your mouse over the round time cursor that moves when playing your video.
  4. Note the time that pops up, e.g. 2:32 (two minutes, 32 seconds)
  5. Copy and paste the URL to the video from your browser address bar into a program like WordPad. It will look something like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b697zb.
  6. Add to the end of this URL the following info: #t=2m32s

Your new URL will look like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b697zb#t=2m32s. You can use this new URL in your web site or blog, and when a visitor clicks that link the video will start playing at your designated time.

Be Careful What You Tweet!

No Comments » Written on July 29th, 2009 by
Categories: Twitter

The Internet has given a voice to anyone who has something to say. But, that doesn’t mean you can just say anything you want without there being repercussions. Amanda Bonnen of Chicago, Illinois found that out the hard way.

The story goes like this, Amanda was living in an apartment complex in Chicago. Apparently she wasn’t happy about the condition of her apartment because she posted the following comment using her Twitter account – “Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon Realty thinks it’s okay.”

Horizon Realty, the property manager for the apartment complex filed a $50,000 lawsuit for libel. Their claim is the statement is false and even though the tweet was deleted and Amanda’s Twitter account removed, they are still pursuing the matter.

It seems like the lesson here is pretty simple, be careful what you say online, if you can’t back it up you are opening yourself up to the same legal problems as if you printed it in the newspaper!

Top 5 Reasons People Go Online – Men and Women Differ

No Comments » Written on July 17th, 2009 by
Categories: eMarketer

eMarketer posted a very interesting article today citing the top reasons why people go online. They surveyed 500 men and women ages 18 years and older. The number one reason why people go online was very surprising! See if you can pick it out from this list:

– Connect with others
– Research
– Pass time
– Educate Self
– Share information
If you said “Pass time” you are correct! The Internet has become the number one time-waster we have! Here is the how the top 5 reasons ranked:
  1. Pass time (100%)
  2. Educate self (96%)
  3. Connect with others (92%)
  4. Research (89%)
  5. Share information (86%)
The survey also showed a big difference between men and women. Men primarily went online for business, entertainment and to keep informed on news and current events.
Women went online primarily to advocate for a cause, to express themselves, or to socialize.
If you are looking to make money online or to make your web site or blog appeal to a bigger audience this information gives you a good look at why people go online.

The BASICS of Getting a Good Search Engine Ranking (SEO)

No Comments » Written on July 1st, 2009 by
Categories: search engines, SEO
Tags:

The topic of search engine optimization (SEO) is one that all web authors should be concerned about, even if you don’t care where your site ranks in Google. Why, do you ask? Because the basics of optimizing your pages so that search engines will find and rank them well are also the same basic things you should be doing to make your site more valuable to your visitors.

1. Good, well-written content.

As the saying goes “Content is King”! For the most part people don’t come to your web site to be entertained, they are usually looking for information about topics that interest them. Spend more time on your writing as opposed to make your site flashy. There are exceptions of course, sites like TV.com, ComedyCentral.com and others are in the entertainment business. However, even for sites like these good, well-written content is must.

2. Think about what people are searching on.

If you want your pages to rank well you need to write about what people are searching on. All of the major search engines will let you see the latest searches on their sites. For Google searches go to Google’s Insight page. You can use tools like this one to look at topics within your area of expertise. You can also begin to build a list of keywords that we will need later.

The topic of keyword development will be the subject of future post. For now just create your own list of keywords that relate your industry.

3. Mind your HTML

While you don’t have to be a skilled web developer to optimize your pages, you should mind a few basic HTML code practices that affect search engines, namely:

  • Page Titles – Page titles are visible to visitors at the very top of a browser window. It is also one of the areas of your page that search engines look at first. Include keywords (from your research above) in your page titles, and also be sure to include them in the body of your pages.
  • Link Titles – When creating hyperlinks on your page, whether in the body of your page or in the navigation structure, be sure to use words that the average visitor would understand and also include keywords that you know are of interest to people.
  • Alternative Text – When you add a photo (or other non-text item) to your pages be sure to include “alternative text”. This is done by putting a brief description of that photo into the ALT tag. Most popular web authoring tools give you an easy way to do this. This is also an important part of keeping your pages accessible by visitors using assistive technologies to read your pages.

4. Links

When talking about SEO there are two types of links we want to pay particular attention to because they will improve our rankings.

  • Internal Links – these are links that you create from within the body of text on each page of your site. When search engines crawl through your site they will follow links to other parts of your site. Be sure to create links to other parts of your site that are appropriate, for instance if you are writing a multi-piece article, or if you have several blog topics that relate to each other.
  • External Links – these are links that other web sites provide to your site. It used to be that a lot of webmasters spent a lot of time cultivating reciprocal linking strategies with other web site owners. At the time it was a good strategy for getting visitors. Soon it became very difficult to manage. Nowadays, search engines look at the quality of inbound links, not just the total number. Links for well-known and reputable sources will raise your page rank. So how do you get these high-quality inbound links? Good, well-written content about topics that people are searching on! (How’s that for bringing things full circle.)

As you can see optimizing your pages for search engines is not a difficult thing. This list is not all there is to the topic of SEO, but if you can do the basics well you will notice a difference not only in your search engine rankings but also in the usability of your pages by your visitors.

Using QR Codes to Promote Your Business or Event

No Comments » Written on April 29th, 2011 by
Categories: mobile
Tags:

WHAT ARE QR CODES

You may not know exactly what a QR code is but chances are you have seen them. QR Codes are those black-on-white square figures that we have all seen in newspaper advertisements, in store displays, on web sites and even on buildings. These codes have become a mobile-friendly way to get offline people to access online resources.

A QR code, short for Quick Response code is a two-dimensional barcode that is readable by barcode scanners and cell phone cameras using specialized software (or apps). When you scan a QR code with your cell phone camera you can be sent to a web site, sent a text message, prompted to dial a phone number or asked to view a message.

Marketers are using QR codes to offer specials deals, discounts and other interactive campaigns. QR codes also allow the marketer to track the success of their campaigns much easier than traditional advertising.

PRACTICAL USES

Here are some examples of how businesses can use QR codes:

  • Put your QR code on the back of your business card that when scanned sends the visitor to a mobile-optimized web page with a special discount.
  • Put your QR code on a newspaper or magazine ad that brings the visitor to a YouTube video that offers reviews about your product or service.
  • If you have an event you are trying to promote, put a QR code on a flyer that brings the visitor to a mobile-optimized registration page.

As you can see the possibilities are limited only to your imagination.

WHAT YOU NEED TO GET STARTED

To get started you first need a way to generate your QR codes. Fortunately there are several free QR code generators online. Take a look at http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ and http://delivr.com/qr-code-generator. Both sites are easy to use and self-explanatory. After you create your QR code you need to save it, and either print it or upload it to your web site.

Next, you will need to install a barcode scanning program or app on your smartphone. For iPhones and Android phones take a look at http://redlaser.com/. For Blackberry users check out the ScanLife app in the Blackberry App Store. Once you get your scanning app loaded you can not only view other QR codes, but you can also test the ones you create.

If you decide to use your QR code to send someone to your web site, make sure the page you are using is mobile-optimized otherwise you will likely lose visitors very quickly!

Lastly, the most important part of promoting your business or event with a QR code is to make sure that whatever you are offering is worthwhile and valuable to your visitors. For instance, don’t make the mistake of just sending visitor’s to your home page. For a quick example scan our QR code below.

qrcode

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Comments Off on Get A FREE Web Site Evaluation! Written on January 12th, 2011 by
Categories: Web Site Evaluation

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