Google’s Panda and Penguin updates have irreversibly changed the practice of SEO. Contrary to the most dire conclusions of some, these nasty-though-harmless-sounding pair of algorithmic updates named for monochromatic fauna have not “killed” SEO—but they have, rather, forced an evolution in thinking about web visibility.
At a high level, both updates are designed to clamp down on “artificially optimized” web pages (e.g., those with over-optimized content [written for search engines rather than humans], paid links, too many links from low-quality sources, too many links with the same anchor text, etc.) and reward pages with a more “natural” profile (relevant and high-quality links, fresh content, social signals, natural and well written content).
The effect of these changes is that it may be more difficult for commercial websites to rank highly for specific keyword phrases. Difficulty ranking does not mean, however, difficulty in being visible. Which is why SEO will evolve into the framework of web presence optimization (WPO).
WPO is about maximizing your brand’s visibility when people are searching for what you have to offer—no matter where they are searching. It’s broader than SEO because “being found” doesn’t necessarily mean that searchers find your website (at least not directly); they may find an article about your company, a product review, a guest post you’ve written for an industry blog, a tweet, a pin, your Facebook page, or something else; but the point is, they’ve found content that is about your brand and that (ultimately) leads back to your website.
WPO is fundamentally friendly to Google’s zoological algorithm collection, because it’s entirely “white hat.” It encompasses paid, owned and earned content, but there is no effort to deceive or to manipulate search results (which is fundamentally what the search engines are trying to penalize).
In a WPO strategy, different disciplines like public relations (PR), SEO, social media, content development, online advertising, analyst relations, and even trade show marketing are managed in a coordinated manner to maximize the total online visibility of a brand for key phrases. It uses high-level WPO metrics to guide overall strategy and continually improve results, while benchmarking activities against top competitors.
WPO Tactics for Panda and Penguin
Here are five WPO tactics that help improve online brand visibility in the Panda and Penguin era:
Blogging. An informative and consistently updated company blog serves as the core of a social media strategy, provides a natural outlet for keyword-rich fresh content, attracts links from diverse but relevant sources, and will likely rank well on its own as well as contributing “link juice” to your top-level domain. Blogging well is hard work; it requires originality, persistence and discipline. The content has to be seen as helpful, compelling and share-worthy, not just rehashed news releases or marketing brochures. But done well, a blog fosters social engagement, improves organic search results and generates leads.
Guest blogging. Writing thought-provoking or informative content for other industry blogs is one of the few ways to directly generate specific keyword links back to your own site that remains acceptable to Google. Beyond the SEO benefit, gust posting also increases brand recognition, helps you reach a new audience, and enhances your brand image and credibility in the market.
Industry marketing. Being active in your industry raises your brand’s online (and often offline) visibility as well as well as creating valuable backlinks for SEO, and includes activities ranging from analyst relations to association memberships to sponsoring and exhibiting at trade shows.
Public Relations. PR isn’t just “press releases” (and anyway, you should actually be writing optimized news releases, worthy of the attention of prospective buyers as well as journalists); it also includes citations and quotes in industry news stories, bylined articles, formal product reviews, customer stories, and speaking opportunities. Such content can and should also be shared socially, reprinted (where allowed and with permission), and repurposed in other formats such as white papers, blog posts, and online presentations.
Backlink categorization. Understanding your website’s backlink profile helps guide your overall WPO strategy and allocation of dollars and efforts. Are you maintaining momentum in press coverage? Gaining traction in social media engagement? Lagging in industry marketing efforts? Even more important, understanding the backlink profiles of competitors enables you to benchmark your performance and look for new opportunities–or just validate your current strategic direction. Success in the Panda/Penguin world isn’t about raw quantity of backlinks, but about diversity (links from a variety of top-level domains, not just lots of links from a single domain), quality, and relevance.
General SEO Tips for Panda and Penguin
Here are three more SEO best practices for maintaining and improving rankings as search engine algorithms continue to evolve.
Avoid duplicate content. Having the same content on two or more pages of your website causes those pages to “compete” with each other in search, with the result that both (or all) pages lose. If you must have duplicate content on your site for structural or navigation reasons, use the rel=canonical tag to tell the search engines which page is the “original” or most useful to searchers.
Be careful with anchor text links. In the old days (e.g. prior to 2012), exact match anchor text ruled, and the more exact match anchor links you had pointing at a page the better. For example, if you wanted to rank for on-page SEO tips, you worked at getting as many links s possible which used that exact phrase. But now, if Google sees too many exact-match keyword links pointed as a page, it may actually penalize the page with lower ranking—for having an “unnatural” link profile. Google won’t specify what qualifies as “too many” of such links, but the point is to diversify anchor text in order to reduce the appearance of artificiality.
Set up Google+ authorship. You can set up Google+ authorship on single and multi-author blogs, and establish authority and validity with Google. Benefits include more visual results that stand out in search, and (potentially at least) higher search rankings.
Pandas and penguins aren’t generally viewed as terrifying creatures in the natural world, and they don’t have to be frightening online either. With a few SEO best practices and implementation of a WPO strategy, you can tame these Google beasts and maximize online visibility for your brand.
How much traffic does your website get from organic search?
Easy question, right? If you use Google Analytics (which is likely, as GA is installed on almost 60% of all websites), just click on Traffic Sources > Overview in the left sidebar menu, and you’ll see something like this:
The problem is—this is almost certainly baloney. Hooey. Poppycock. Nonsense. BS.
For lightly trafficked sites, this chart may actually be quite close, within one percent or so. But for larger sites with more substantial visit counts, this figure can vary significantly from reality.
While researching how best to measure and categorize backlinks for WPOinc’s web presence optimization (WPO) Metrics Dashboard, we found that the way Google categorizes referring sites driving traffic is a bit, shall we say, misleading.
At first glance, determining how many different search engines drive traffic to your site (or rather, how many different search engines Google thinks are supplying visits) is an easy process: in the left sidebar menu in GA, click Traffic Sources > Sources > Search > Organic > Overview, then in the small menu in the center of the screen click Sources.
GA will list “all” of the different search engines producing visits to your site, normally somewhere between eight and 12 sources; 16 is the highest we’ve seen. The list will usually contain well-known sites like Google, Yahoo!, Bing, AOL, Ask, Search.com and Babylon, along with perhaps Baidu (China) and Yandex (Russia).
However, the actual number of search engines driving traffic to your site is likely higher—possibly much higher. In the case of one larger client website, which gets tens of thousands of visits per month, GA reported that the site had received visits from 24 different search engines in the past year. But in analyzing the specific URLs supplying visits to identify alternative search engines in the mix, the actual figure turned out to be … 246. More than 10 times the figure GA had reported as “organic search” sources.
To check this for yourself, in GA, click Traffic Sources > Sources > All Traffic. At the lower-right of the screen, set Show Rows to its maximum value. You’ll see a long list of individual URLs; how long depends on many factors, including overall traffic volume (for this client site, the list contained almost 1,400 URLs). Near the top of the list (assuming the default sort: by volume of visits, descending) you’ll likely see the major search engines, industry news and association websites, partner sites, popular social networks, and large online directories (such as YellowPages.com, Hoovers, and ZoomInfo).
But scroll a bit further down the list and you may see URLs you don’t recognize. Among these are blogs, lesser-known directories, and … search engines. Here are a just a small sample of the search engines we found miscategorized by GA:
blackle.com / referral
claro-search.com / referral
crawler.com / referral
endlessmatches.com / referral
fastestwebsearch.com / referral
goodsearch.com / referral
hotbot.com / referral
i-mysearch.com / referral
metacrawler.com / referral
pipl.com / referral
qiye.us / referral
safe-find.com / referral
Granted, these sites individually don’t (normally) provide large volumes of traffic, and even collectively in our experience usually skew results by no more than 2-3%. The errors, however, can be much worse in some cases: in one recent situation, GA reported that a site’s organic search traffic had increased by less than 1% on a quarter-to-quarter basis; but an in-depth look at “referring” search engines revealed that actual organic search traffic growth was nearly 20% for that period.
WPOinc is well aware that data quality is a problem in web measurement, though one might expect an organization with Google’s resources and brainpower to get something this basic right. This example is just a subset of a larger web data quality problem, that of accurately categorizing backlinks. That is, of all the sites linking to and/or sending visits to your site, what share are blogs vs. news sites vs. search engines vs … all manner of other sites? How does that profile compare to your top competitors?
SEO tools expert Ann Smarty has reviewed backlink categorization tools, but none offer much flexibility in terms of categories and all seem to suffer from some degree of data quality issues, which is why WPOinc needed to unravel the backlink blackbox. Over time, we expect third-party tools will improve in this area, providing marketers with better data to support web presence and search engine optimization efforts—we just couldn’t wait for them. When it comes to web presence optimization (WPO), you must be able to accurately measure and categorize backlinks and be able to benchmark your backlink strategy against your competitors to get a competitive edge.
So, just a heads-up: figure that your site is probably getting more (possibly a lot more) organic search traffic than Google Analytics is telling you.
Email marketing is like the car my teenagers drive (and you thought there were no original analogies left!)—it’s been around for 20 years and there’s nothing flashy about it, but it’s reliable, effective, and there’s at least a 50-50 chance it will continue to do it’s job for quite some time to come.
In spite of all the abuse of the medium that’s been perpetrated over the years either maliciously (in the case of spammers) or simply as a result of ineptitude by well-meaning but ill-informed marketers, consumers and business decision makers alike continue to be willing to exchange their email addresses for the promise of valuable information on a regular basis. But both groups have become more sophisticated; more wary of subscribing in the first place, and quicker to unsubscribe if they don’t perceive value in a sender’s communications.
That means email marketers need to be more thoughtful and creative in terms of attracting subscribers, crafting email subject lines that will lead to opens and click-throughs, designing messages that are distinctive yet clear on any device, and most importantly, creating content that both provides value to the recipient and achieves organizational goals.
How can you make sure your emails avoid the spam filter and actually reach their intended recipients? What are the most effective techniques for building an opt-in email list? How can you minimize unsubscribes? What’s the best day and time to send emails? How can you craft killer subject lines that maximize open rates?
Find the answers to these questions and more here in two dozen of the best email marketing guides from the past year.
General Email Marketing Tips & Techniques
The key to maximizing your email open rates is to write great subject lines, but before recipients will even see your subject lines, your messages have to get by spam filters. Karen Rubin lists nearly 400 words and phrases to avoid in subject lines in order to improve deliverability, such as “order status,” “home based,” “lowest price,” “free offer” and, of course, “Viagra.”
Email Marketing: Avoid the pitfalls of a direct-mail mindset by MarketingSherpa
Adam T. Sutton advises marketers not to treat email like direct mail, for example by avoiding segmentation: “In direct mail, segmentation is used to keep costs down…When email came along, direct mail marketers saw a bonanza. An email cost less than a penny to send. Companies stopped seeing the point in segmentation.” That’s the kind of thinking that produces spam.
10 Unsubscribe Page Best Practices by Betterment
Writing that “Catching your precious subscriber with one foot out the door isn’t the same as permanently bidding them arriverderci. Handled correctly, your unsubscribe page can actually snatch a loyal subscriber from the jaws of…whatever the opposite of that is,” Jason Amunwa lists 10 techniques to win back unsubscribers, among them giving your readers options (such as changing message frequency), letting them know you’re a person, and not using one-click unsubscribe.
Why you should measure email ROI by iMedia Connection
Mitch Lapides explains why measuring email ROI (and not just metrics like open rates) is important, how to measure it, and the four main categories of factors that can affect ROI, such as list hygiene: “a high number of inactive users—subscribers who have stopped opening your emails but haven’t unsubscribed—can hurt your email deliverability. Between 0.5 percent and 2 percent of a typical email list becomes inactive each month. And it’s not unusual to find between 30 percent and 60 percent of an email list inactive, especially if an organization hasn’t removed inactive subscribers or run a re-engagement campaign in a few years.”
Allyson Galle answers the top questions posed following a popular email webinar, such as: should emails come from the company or from an individual name (answer: it depends, test); how long should subject lines be; what constitutes a decent click-through rate; and what’s the best day and time to send emails?
7 Steps to a High-Converting Email Marketing Campaign by The Daily Egg
Sherice Jacob provides an “‘email marketing campaign checklist’ of how to not only launch a profitable mailing list, but keep subscribers hungry for more,” from creating your signup form and determining the optimal placement for it on your website to personalizing email subject lines and continually testing.
Shelley Pringle shares a dozen best practices for effective email marketing, from having a clear goal for each message (“Every marketing email you send should include a call-to-action. If there’s no link in the email, you won’t be able to track or measure your campaign, including the open rate, and more importantly, the click-through rate”) and segmenting your list to focusing on benefits and keeping your messages brief.
How to Combine Email and Social
Email and Social: A Killer Combo by ClickZ
Robin Neifield offers a dozen tips to help “integrate email and each of the major social properties,” such as, on Facebook, “Definitely use your status updates to tease upcoming emails—especially if you have an offer or promo. Provide a link so users can sign up for email if they are not already on the list.”
An inside look into the convergence of email and social by iMedia Connection
Wikus Engelbrecht offers “insights and practical tips on how to integrate and manage your cross-channel voice and leverage (email, social and mobile) in unison to get better results.” For example, create integrated messages: start by crafting “a short and sharp (email) subject line, at 50 characters or less; which should clearly state what your readers can expect from your email, what’s in it for them or what you want them to do as a result…By taking that message to the 120 character frame in Twitter, you can create more interest and clarify your call-to-action. Add a #hashtag and use a shortened URL to save on character count. A Facebook post gives you the opportunity to entice fans even more by expanding your message to 150 characters. Remove the #hashtag you used in Twitter and add a compelling graphic.”
Email Marketing Benchmarks, Facts and Statistics
Is Email Dead? Nope [INFOGRAPHIC] by eStrategy After Hours
A great infographic to share with the “email is dead / social media is the future” crowd. Among the facts David Erickson shares here: three times as many people have email accounts as are on Facebook, and compared to Twitter the ratio is ten to one. There are 60 million Facebook posts each day—but 188 billion email messages sent. Email volume continues to grow, and more than half of marketers still say that email is popular in business.
Gavin O’Malley reports that less than four out of five marketing emails actually make it to the recipient’s inbox, and the rate is trending downward. He also explains why more messages are ending up in spam folders and what marketers can do to improve their deliverability rates.
Email Campaign Volumes Surge, Open Rates Stronger by MarketingProfs
Research from Epsilon shows that average email open rates increased in the past year, while typical click-through rates fell slightly (from 5.5% to 5.2%). Among other findings: messages from banks and general retailers garner the highest average open rates (34%-36%), while emails from consumer publishers and apparel retailers are most likely to be ignored. By type, service-related emails have the highest open rate (46%) while editorial emails average 33% and marketing messages just 20%.
Infographic: Email open rates by time of day by MarketingSherpa
David Kirkpatrick shares an infographic that breaks down common patterns in email open and click-through rates to try to identify the best time to send emails. Among the findings: emails are most likely to be opened between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. and again between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. Also, nearly a quarter of all commercial emails are opened within one hour after sending. After 24 hours, the open rate is near zero.
B2B Email Marketing Best-Practices and Trends by MarketingProfs
According to a study by Pardot, only 30% of B2B marketers use email as a primary lead generation tactic; most consider email to be a more valuable tool for lead nurturing. The majority of B2B marketers (65%) spend less than 25% of their budgets on email. Tuesday is generally viewed as the best day for sending B2B emails, and Friday the worst. And there’s more.
Email List Building Tips
Constantly adding new names to your subscriber list is crucial, because as Andrew Pitre reports, “your email marketing database degrades by about 25% every year. Your contacts’ email addresses change as they move from one company to another, they opt-out of your email communication, or they abandon that old AOL address they only use to fill out forms on websites.” He then offers more than two dozen tips to help keep your list growing, from QR codes and online contests to ebooks and videos.
5 Ways to Generate More Email Sign Ups by Duct Tape Marketing
John Jantsch steps through five tactics by building an email list, such as feature with content: “Many WordPress theme frameworks today (Genesis and Thesis) allow for what are being called ‘feature boxes.’ These feature boxes make it easy to place a sign up box at, say, the end of each blog post or top of your blog home page. Placing your email offer where people are reading and enjoy your content improves uptake.”
Email Tips for Lead Nurturing
Corey Eridon advises that “If you’re interested in starting or improving upon your existing lead nurturing campaigns, make sure you incorporate these 6 types of emails into your lead nurturing mix to help move your leads swiftly through the sales funnel,” including emails that are personal, that educate, and that help recipients improve some aspect of their lives.
Noting that “The idea behind lead nurturing is to provide your leads with valuable content that targets their needs and goals in order to guide them through your buying cycle until they are sales-ready,” Sarah Goliger serves up seven tips for more effective nurturing emails, from communicating to your prospects based on information you already know about them to putting the emphasis on helping your prospects—not yourself.
Email Design Tips
It’s Not You, It’s Outlook – The Complete Guide for Email Marketers by VerticalResponse Marketing Blog
Noting that Outlook has numerous problems rendering HTML emails properly–”If you’re an email marketer… you’ve probably encountered some form of Outlook error. Your email looks pristine on your shiny iPhone, Android device, or web-based email client, but suddenly blows up when you open it up in Outlook”–this post details HTML elements that Outlook does not support, and provides recommendations for work-arounds.
Lauren Smith reviews the basics of email design: color, typography, layout, and device-awareness. That last consideration is easy to overlook, but “rather than focusing on creating emails that look great in one particular environment, emails should be optimized for all inboxes,” particularly since only 3% of recipients will typically bother trying to read your email on more than one device.
How to Write Awesomely Effective Email Subject Lines
14 Email Subject Line Hacks by ClickZ
***** 5 STARS
Noting that “If our email is to be read, our subject lines must save our recipients from mindless autonomy,” Brian Massey lists 14 helpful “hacks” for creating compelling subject lines, such as shock and awe (example: “Media Measurement: Science, Art or a Load of Crap”), make up words (“The Making of Twittamentary”), and metaphors and similes (“Snackable Content: Working in a Bite-Sized Future”).
The Subject Line Strategy That Gets 541% More Response by AWeber Communications
Amanda Gagnon reports on an extensive test conducted to determine which type of email subject lines (clear or creative) perform better in terms of comments, tweets, Facebook Likes, traffic and subscriptions. And the winner is…
Use web analytics to choose email subject lines by WhatCounts
Christopher S. Penn provides step-by-step instructions one how to use Google Analytics data to identify high-volume, high CTR search queries you can test as email subject lines “to see if your audience is as interested in your emails as they are in what’s bringing them to your website.” Note that you’ll need to have your Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools accounts linked in order for this to work.
Although she acknowledges that “there’s really no such thing as the perfect subject line—or, if there is, it must be hiding with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster,” Justine Jordan nevertheless takes a shot at that process with this helpful infographic. Among the tips: ask questions; keep subject lines short (40 characters or less if possible); focus on being relevant, specific and timely; and always be testing.
Guest post by Megan Totka.
Think about the business structure where you work. What happens if you call in sick? Are you on a team of coworkers or are you the sole contributor in your department? Quite possibly you’ve never really thought about a sick day as anything other than what it is. You know you’ll be playing catch-up for a few days, but the business goes on.
What about small business owners though? If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, a sick day can actually mean the entire business shuts down until you get better. Not only do the doors close on your storefront, but all communications with customers, including social media marketing, goes down. One day, two days, what if it’s more than a cold? The flu? Pneumonia? Ten days? How long is too long before something as simple as a sick day turns your business upside down?
It’s safe to say that small business owners do not get sick days. Losing an entire day of sales from a store can be a large chunk of change. It’s a contingency to plan for before even opening up a business. Many business startups are online only. If the owner gets sick, will customers even notice? Actually, yes. Let’s examine what happens when your business takes a social media sick day.
Your online reputation is important. Ensuring your business looks good online isn’t just about managing bad reviews or seeming personable; consistent and frequent posting is the best way to reach out to your customers.
The top social networks for business are Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. The best way to reach customers is by writing often. If you are sick, nothing gets posted. No posts means no retweets or shares, no comments or likes or favorites, and most importantly, no links back to your website. Even just one day with no social engagement can have a negative impact on sales. So here are five tips to keep your online image moving, even if your body isn’t:
- Use a smartphone. If your condition is less than serious, you might be able to keep in touch with your customers by simply logging into your social networks with your smartphone or tablet from bed instead of going to your office (or sitting at your desktop). You won’t need to be online all day so hopefully there will be a few moments of clarity between the Tylenol and NyQuil you are taking to feel better.
- Plan ahead. Getting sick is sort of a fact of life. You can do all the right things but sometimes it just happens. It’s not a bad idea to have 3-4 spare blog posts saved on your computer for just this reason. Readers are none the wiser and you don’t have to write while under the weather. The same goes for having informative articles to share with your audience on social media. Keep a stash of extras so you don’t have to work too hard when you don’t feel well.
- Postdate updates. If your “sick day” is for more an unplanned day off like for a funeral, postdating your work is a great idea. Facebook allows you to change the date so you can plan your posts to update while you aren’t even online. You can do the same with most blogs.
- Link sites together. Another helpful tool when managing your social media quickly is to have things linked together. There are many tools for managing your accounts so you can have your tweets automatically post to Facebook and have your blogs automatically post to Twitter. It saves you time even when you aren’t sick.
- Have a second in command, even if only for emergencies. This could be your spouse, family member or an assistant. Make sure it is someone you trust. Do not give the person your personal passwords to access the sites; rather, make them an admin to make the updates on behalf of the business from their own pages. You retain control so if anything happens, you can revoke their privileges.
Preventative care for business owners is going to be important too. Eat a healthy diet. Live an active lifestyle. And overall, take care of yourself. If you do get sick, you now have a few tricks up your sleeve so you can take a break and run your business successfully when you’re under the weather. Stressing about your business surely isn’t going to help you get better. And hopefully the next time you get sick, your business will have grown and you can pay an employee to worry about these things.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.
Indisputably the largest business-oriented social network, LinkedIn has emerged as a crucial site for professional networking, B2B marketing, hiring and job seeking. LinkedIn now boasts more than 200 million members across 200 countries, and adds two new members every second; what’s more, 35% of LinkedIn members use the site daily.
Furthermore, due to its multiple sharing options including buttons, apps, personal updates, company updates, and industry-focused group discussions, LinkedIn is often among the top three or four traffic sources for B2B blogs. As a key driver of both traffic and online visibility, LinkedIn is a key component in any B2B firm’s web presence optimization framework.
How can individuals use LinkedIn most effectively, whether for personal branding, job seeking or networking? How can companies best use LinkedIn as a marketing platform? What are the best practices for advertising on LinkedIn?
Find the answers to these questions and many others here in more than two dozen expert LinkedIn guides, tactics, tips and infographics.
Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile and Use
How to Use LinkedIn Powerfully: 10 Tips to Know by Social Media Today
Tracy Gold offers tips for creating a more effective LinkedIn profile, among them writing a rich but concise summary (“use concrete details like results you have generated and tasks you do on a daily basis to show people how awesome you are, not tell them,” and connecting with care (“I favor being a tad picky. I’d like to think I could recommend—or at least answer questions about—anyone I am connected to on LinkedIn”).
6 Changes You Need To Make To Your LinkedIn Profile Now by V3 Integrated Marketing
Shelly Kramer recommends half a dozen key changes to power up your LinkedIn profile, such as adding an application: “LinkedIn offers a number of apps to help you add depth to your profile. Share what you’re reading, embed your SlideShare presentations, showcase your WordPress blog or add a poll. Other applications are available for specific industries, including Legal Updates, Real Estate Pro and Lawyer Ratings.”
How to turn LinkedIn into a relationship filter by SmartBlog on Social Media
Jesse Stanchak interviews “LinkedIn Jedi” Dave Gowel about using LinkedIn as “a relationship filter, that when you put in all the relationships that you already have, it allows you to see the ones that you could have more easily, or get information about potential ones.” The key “is to start with a really high quality first-degree connection pool” so that those potential second- and third-degree connections are really meaningful.
10 words you should never use on LinkedIn by iMedia Connection
Hoping to land that dream job through LinkedIn? Josh Dreller advises avoiding these 10 over-used, meaningless, or just plain dumb phrases to describe yourself, such as “guru” or “visionary”—”terms such as ‘guru’ imply that you’re beyond an expert in something; that folks should be showering you with rose pedals or sacrificing goats in your honor. And, hey, if you’re a guru, why do you need a job? Self-appointed royalty titles only make most people feel like you’re going to be a huge pain-in-the-butt to work with.”
12 LinkedIn secrets to supercharge your social networking by Ragan’s PR Daily
Shelly Kramer (again) lists a dozen techniques for advanced use of LinkedIn, such as how to hide your status updates (“If you’re connecting with new business prospects or making changes to your profile in preparation for job seeking, you may not want to broadcast that activity to your network”), make yourself anonymous (for example, when conducting competitive research) and block your connections and group activities from competitors.
13 Things You Never Knew You Could Do On LinkedIn by Business Insider
While the title may be a bit exaggerated, Steve Kovach nevertheless highlights several of the less-used features, such as LinkedIn’s resume builder tool, which “will build your resumé in a snap. It takes all the information in your profile and coverts it to a simple resumé that you can print out. There are a bunch of templates to choose from too.”
The New Networking: Ultimate LinkedIn Guide for 2012 Grads by Online Colleges
Writing “Whether you’re a LinkedIn newbie or just need to become more effective on the site, these tips offer great ideas for LinkedIn networking,” the authors provide more than two dozen tips and resources for more effectively using LinkedIn. Though targeted at recent grads, many of the recommendations apply more broadly, like being a connector: “If you know two (or more people) that should know each other but don’t, take a moment to introduce them to each other on LinkedIn. They’ll appreciate that you thought of them and recognize that you’re valuable as a person who offers assistance and great connections.”
Looking for a new job? LinkedIn can help by iMedia Connection
Jim Nichols offers eight tips for utilizing LinkedIn in a job search, including helpful instructions on how to search for jobs on the business social network and connecting with recruiters: “A number of recruiters told me that LinkedIn is the source of more than half of their serious candidates. That’s a remarkable statistic and the operative word in that sentence is ‘serious.’…Recruiters are using LinkedIn to proactively find great candidates and check up on applicants that they are reviewing. If you aren’t there in a meaningful way, you may never get serious consideration.”
Social Media Minute: 25 B2B Marketing Uses of LinkedIn by MLT Creative
Writing that “If you’re in B2B marketing or sales, you can do so much more with your LinkedIn account than simply look up your B2B marketing contacts. Use LinkedIn to help sell product, expand your networks, grow your business and gain free publicity,” Martine Hunter lists more than two dozen tactics to more fully engage on LinkedIn, such as conducting market research with Polls, sharing survey results with contacts, and “Check connections’ locations before traveling so you can meet with those in the city where you’re heading.”
4 Ways to Stand Out on LinkedIn by LinkedIn Blog
Nicole Williams shares four tips for making an impact on LinkedIn in this concise but helpful post, for example: “Dress it up: People always say dress for the job you want, right? Well, maybe it’s time to dress up your online profile picture. People with photos are seven times more likely to have their profiles viewed. Having a more polished image will not only make you visible, but it also lets employers know that you are serious about representing their company in the most professional way…Plus, you’re twelve times more likely to have your profile viewed if you add more than one position to your profile.”
10 Ways to Promote Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn by iMedia Connection
Jane Turkewitz recommends choosing “key strategic words in that will help define your core strengths and experiences” ot use in your title, using SEO strategies in highlighting your specialties (“Don’t be afraid to use multiple terms to describe the same function as I have done in this sample because everyone ‘searches’ using different criteria”) and securing high-level recommendations (“Director level and above recommendations are ideal”) among other tactics.
Marketing with LinkedIn
6 Lessons from HubSpot’s LinkedIn Company Page by Business Insider
Amanda Maksymiw shares lessons from examining how HubSpot utilizes its LinkedIn company, such as “Build a robust product tab…HubSpot has done a really nice job utilizing the Products tab within the company page. Instead of simply focusing on its software products, HubSpot also links back to larger content assets such as eBooks, assessments, webinars, and its every (sic) popular Grader tools,” which is to say, not just literally products but also assets of value to prospective customers.
Michael Alexis breaks down LinkedIn Groups strategies used by Lewis Howes to allegedly generate $1.5 million in revenue. Sales pitch aside, this post provides a helpful step-by-step guide to starting a LinkedIn Group, broadcasting group messages, setting up webinars and more.
11 LinkedIn Marketing Gems You’re Missing Out On by HubSpot
***** 5 STARS
Stating that “We already know that LinkedIn is more effective at generating leads than Facebook or Twitter. 277% more effective, in fact,” Corey Eridon presents tactics for optimizing LinkedIn marketing efforts, from gathering insights from LinkedIn Group statistics to using targeted product tabs to create “different variations of your product tab for each segment of your target audience.”
9 Ways to Add LinkedIn to Your Company Website by Mashable
Noting that “Adding LinkedIn’s social features to your company website is a great way to tap into both a large-scale recruitment platform and a targeted network of business contacts,” Brian Honigman describes nine ways to do this, including Share, Recommend, Follow Company and Apply buttons, as well as plugins for your company profile and, for recruiting purposes, “Jobs Your May Be Interested In.”
LinkedIn To Launch Targeting and Analytics for Company Pages by The Content Strategist
Kylie Jane Wakefield explains how two LinkedIn features, Targeted Updates and Follower Statistics, “allow companies to further target key demographics and measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.” Targeted Updates enables “marketers to deliver updates to certain audiences based on specific details, such as company size, industry, geography, job function, and seniority,” while “Follower Statistics ‘provides insights about follower demographics, engagement levels, update impressions, total following, recent followers, and number of new followers month-to-month.’”
Pamela Vaughan details eight ways brands can make the most of their LinkedIn pages (such as incorporating your blog’s RSS feed: “While simply including your blog’s feed won’t broadcast its content to your LinkedIn page followers via the updates feed on their homepage…it’s a really easy way to promote your blog content to the visitors on your page”), supported with examples from companies like Voices.com and Zipcar.
5 Ways to Generate Leads from a LinkedIn B2B Company Page by Social Media B2B
Jeffrey L. Cohen details a handful of techniques for generating B2B leads through LinkedIn, among them testing free banners (“Want to test some new creative ideas? Want to test some landing pages? LinkedIn gives you three free banner ads at the top of the products and services page. Create images that are 640×220 pixels, upload them to your page and add a unique URL, preferably to a landing page, and you have free ads”) and incorporating video with a call to action.
7 Ways to Drive More Blog Traffic Using LinkedIn by Social Media Examiner
Stephanie Sammons shares “seven powerful tips to use LinkedIn to drive more traffic to your blog,” among them six ways to “get active and engage” to drive more profile views and blog traffic, and four ways to “Post blog articles as status updates and link to relevant articles.”
Brittany Leaning answers the seven most common questions posed in a joint HubSpot-LinkedIn webinar, for example, Q: What’s the best way to find potential customers on LinkedIn? A: “Groups are your best bet, especially if you consider your business to be relatively niche. In a group, you can establish yourself as an industry expert very quickly through discussions and announcements. In general, groups are very engaging and allow for great communication between professionals interested in the same topic.”
How to get the most from LinkedIn Company Pages by Smart Insights
Annmarie Hanlon provides a detailed guide to optimizing LinkedIn company pages, from reviewing all of the key elements to create or review when setting up a company page, to sharing company status updates, to utilizing the (admittedly limited) data provided by LinkedIn Insights.
Advertising on LinkedIn
The KISSmetrics Guide To LinkedIn Ads – Part I: The Basics by KISSmetrics
Igor Belogolovsky serves up a step-by-step guide to building a successful ad campaign on LinkedIn, from determining whether or not LinkedIn ads are even right for your business (“If you sell something that benefits business owners or working professionals and you can, in one short sentence, clearly delineate why, the answer is probably yes”) through targeted, ad creation, budgeting and tracking.
LinkedIn…from Downtown! by PPC Hero
Using NCAA March Madness as a metaphor, Kayla Kurtz explains why LinkedIn advertising could be a contender (“the glory of LinkedIn is it’s targeting capabilities. You can target all the way down to the CEO of a particular company and write an ad text written specifically to them, name included. If that isn’t targeting, I don’t know what is”) as well as limitations that could leave it in the losers’ bracket (e.g., historically low click-through rates).
How to set up a Successful Ad Campaign onLinkedIn by eMagine’s B2B Blog
Writing that “LinkedIn ads are very similar to those you create on AdWords or AdCenter, but with the added bonus of specific targeting options not found in the other ad campaign media,” Lee Rush Schwartz steps through the six elements of ad targeting on LinkedIn.
Do You Use LinkedIn To Its Fullest Potential? [INFOGRAPHIC] by Infographic List
Arjan de Raaf offers tips for making the best use of LinkedIn in this short but sweet infographic, including filling out all areas of your profile, as “First impressions are everything. It’s important to have everything completed on your profile to appear more professional. It’s also an opportunity to keyword optimize your profile.”
Infographic: How people are using LinkedIn by Ragan’s PR Daily
Here’s a fascinating collection of LinkedIn facts and stats, among them: less than 10% of members use the paid, premium version of LinkedIn. More than 80% of members have fewer than 500 connections. And the four most popular features on the business social network are Groups, people searching, “people you may know,” and checking on who has viewed one’s profile.