TP Designs Blog

Internet Marketing Tips

Youtube Analytics

If you publish videos on Youtube, there is some great information about the viewing of your videos that is a little bit buried in the Youtube web interface. Follow these easy steps to check your Youtube Analytics. The information is only 4 clicks away!


Yelp Myths

Many business owners are afraid of the user review site Yelp, and for good reason. I've seen businesses with bad Yelp scores struggle, and even go out of business to get away from the bad reviews. Like it or not though, online reviews are here to stay. To survive, business owners need to change their practices to include proactive steps towards gaining positive reviews. They need to learn to use Yelp as a tool for growth, rather than hiding from it in fear.

So let's bust some Yelp myths:

1) Yelp is unfair. They are filtering all of my good reviews, and only showing the bad ones.

This commonly happens with small businesses. They have a few friends or regular customers who they ask to post a review. More often than not, these people are new to Yelp, only use it for this review, and therefore have no Yelp authority. Yelp's algorithm sees this as suspicious, and filters the review. The solution is to make asking to be reviewed, on Yelp or other review sites, a standard part of your customer relations process. The more people  you ask, the more chance that one of them will be a diehard Yelper, and their 5 star review will stick.

2) If I get a bad review, responding will legitimize it, so I should just ignore it.

The bad review is already legitimized by being on Yelp. As a business owner you have a much different attitude towards Yelp than does someone reading your reviews to decide whether or not to do business with you. They are likely to take that one star review seriously, and if you don't give your side of the story, the reviewer's side will be all they have to go by.

3) Yelp is a bunch of BS. People don't take it seriously.

Many business owners see Yelp as a place for customers with unreasonable expectations to vent after not getting their way, or worse yet, a place for people to extort goods or services when they are unable to get them by other means. Both of these things bias business owners against Yelp. Yelp users are a different story. A recent study reported that over half of those surveyed used online reviews to select a service provider, and almost 3/4 of those people used Yelp.

4) If I pay for Yelp advertising, they will hide my 1 star reviews.

Yelp will not hide your bad reviews if you advertise with them. They will encourage you to respond to reviews in a constructive way. If you have a few one star reviews, chances are your customer relations could stand some improvement. Making the paradigm shift necessary to write a constructive response rather than flaming the reviewer is likely to be reflected in future customer interactions, and stop future 1 star reviews from happening.

What has been your experience with Yelp? Please leave a comment.

TP Designs promotes websites in the San Francisco Bay Area through PPC and SEO services.


Small Business BloggersBlogs are a key component of any modern web promotion strategy. Blogs are a seamless way to help your website give search engines what they are looking for to rank your site well:

  1. Fresh content
  2. A rich supply of relevant keywords
  3. Link bait
  4. Added value to the search results (as opposed to keyword spam)
  5. The opportunity to promote yourself through social media

As small business person, you know your industry. You have to in order to survive the increasingly tough economic climate. You are the expert in your field, and sharing that expertise on the substantial forum of the Internet lets everyone else know that, including existing and potential clients.

The reasons that are usually given for why a company does not want to produce a blog are:

  1. They are too busy.
  2. People in their industry are not on the internet, or at least don't use the internet for business. They aren't on Facebook and Twitter.
  3. They see blogs and the associated promotion through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter as a waste of time.

The response to the first reason is that if you are too busy to contribute time towards gaining new business, why are you looking into web promotion services? (Of course I don't say it like that!). Most small businesses just want to pay someone to promote their website, and have writing the check be their sole contribution. Well, you can do it that way, and many businesses do. The sad truth is that strategy is just a small step above throwing your check directly into the garbage.

As for the second two reasons, I guarantee there are a significant number of people in your vertical who are heavily involved in blogging and social media marketing, and they have the advantage over you. If not, then it shouldn't take too much effort for your business to become the industry leader.

There is a lot of BS around blogging and social media out there, and if anyone presents themselves as a "Guru" I recommend running the other way quickly. Do, please, however consider contributing some of your time and expertise in promoting your site through blogging. If you can't write yourself, hire a copywriter. You'll usually get a good bang for the buck, and they will take your ideas and knowledge and put them in the most effective form to market your business.

TP Designs promotes websites in the San Francisco Bay Area through PPC and SEO services.


TwitterThe terms “Social media,” “Web 2.0,” “Twitter” and “Facebook” are saturating the media, and clogging our spam filters. How many emails or ads have you seen that said something like “Millions of people use Facebook every day. Don’t miss out on the advertising opportunity and get left behind?” In fact I regularly get inquiry from clients asking whether or not they should be on Facebook or Twitter. 


Matt Cutts, Google's Ambassador at large recently gave a talk about SEO (search engine optimization) for bloggers: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/seo-for-bloggers/

Blogging can be a great way to keep your website content fresh, build credibility and authority for your business, and get targeted traffic coming in. These are great tips, straight from the horse's mouth, about getting your blog at the top of Google.

Use Wordpress. WordPress takes care of 80-90% of(the mechanics of)Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


My plugins (used by Matt Cutts)

  • Akismet
  • Cookies for Comments
  • Enforce www. preference
  • Feedburner Feedsmith
  • WP Super Cache


How does Google crawl?

We crawl roughly in decreasing order of PageRank


What's PageRank?

The number and importance of links pointing to you.


How does Google rank pages?
You want to be relevant and reputable


SEO tips: keywords

  • Think about the keywords that users will type. Include them naturally in your posts
  • ALT attribute are handy (3-4 relevant words)
  • Don't forget image search, videos, etc.
  • What will your visitors type?
  • Keyword tool - brainstorm!
  • Url structure
  • Tweaking titles, urls, content
  • Use categories that are also good keywords


Keywords in url paths: example.com/my-keywords

  • Dashes are best
  • Next best is underscores
  • No spaces is worst


General Blogging Tips

  • Update often
  • Provide a useful service
  • Do original research or reporting
  • Give great information
  • Find a creative niche
  • Make lists ("11 reasons why WordCamp ruled")
  • Create controversy
  • Meet folks on Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed
  • Make a video
  • Google tools can help. Webmaster console at google.com/webmasters/
  • Avoid paid posts
  • Keep your WordPress and web server updated!!


Security

  • Automatic updates
  • Protect the /wp-content/ directory


And finally:

rel=canonical . Built into wordpress.com. Download 2.8!