Pinterest is like a Cocktail Party for link building

You are blogging, aren’t you?
In my last post I wrote about the importance of using Google Authorship for Small Businesses who blog. It was only after the fact I realized that perhaps I hadn’t made the point clear that as a Small Business Owner you absolutely should be blogging.

As a matter of fact blogging should be one of your most important marketing efforts. Although it has been written about at great length over the last decade it bears repeating: Blogging is your best value marketing proposition. That is if it is done correctly.

“Done correctly… So, what does that mean?”
It could mean a great many different thing to different people. In this case I feel it means, as a Small Business Blogger, you should be creating compelling content, in the form of BOTH text and images, related to your business environment which results in building links from other bloggers and web sites back to your blog. Easy enough, right…?

“So how do I build links back to my blog?”, you might ask.
Simple. Links are like referrals. Just like in the off-line world when you want to build more referrals to your business efforts you network. It’s the same in the online world, it’s just that online networking takes a little different form. You can’t very well turn up to a cocktail party online…Or can you…?

Pinterest: The online Cocktail Party
One great way to build links and referral online is by commenting on other blogs. There are a variety of ways to find relevant blogs upon which to comment, not the least of which is using the current Social Media darling: Pinterest. This tool should already be part of your marketing toolkit. If not, get on it now. Using Pinterest, especially if your business is food, fashion or home products related, you can search for terms related to your business environment, find “pins” related to your content, follow the pin to its blog or website and make a comment. Even make a comment on the pin itself, many times its the blogger who pinned it. Don’t be so solicitous as to comment with simply a link back to your blog…that’s not how you’d do it in the real world cocktail party…so don’t do it here. Instead contribute to the conversation. Put in your $0.02. Get involved. It’s really that simple.

On eConsultancy.com blog James Gurd recently wrote an interesting post on just this subject. In his post Gurd outlines a fairly straight forward strategy using Pinterest for link building and blogger outreach:
1. Define your targets
2. Prioritize your keywords
3. Search
4. Evaluate the results
5. Get the Ball rolling

Blogger outreach and Link Building
Once you’ve begun to engage some folks online and built a few solid relationships then and only then should you proceed to requesting back links and anchor links to your content. There are a variety of techniques and protocol for requesting back links and I won’t go into them here, but suffice to say it is all in the approach. There are several good articles out there on the subject and it is worth studying.

Once you start building relationships you will find it easier and easier as you go. No one likes to be the new kid on the block, but we’ve all been there. You have to start someplace. As a matter of fact this post is prime example of blogger outreach. I found the article mentioned above (although not through Pinterest), made a comment, wrote a blog post linking back to the article and will follow up later with more comments and relevant posts in the future.

You can do the same. Try it.

Owning your content: Why local businesses should use Google Authorship

You wrote. You own it. Make sure Google knows it.

Last year Google launched Authorship Markup for content creators across the web.  This allows anyone who publishes content to claim and own that content in search results.  The result is a Google search will return your content along with a link to your public profile, namely your Google + profile.  As a Local Search Marketing Professional I spend a large amount of effort linking local clients to their profiles across the web.  IYP’s (internet yellow pages) are a big part of that process.  Authorship can and will remove IYP’s from the equation.

Why should small and local businesses care about Authorship?  Continue reading

Apple, Google and the upcoming battle for Mobile Map supremacy

Back in May it was reported that Apple may Kill Google Maps in iOS 6.  Why not..? Apple already tracks user movement and has SIRI to recommend shopping, restaurants and other relevant map data based on your preferences and search data.  Apple has prime seed stock step into Maps and the related local recommendations arena.  So it is not surprising that many folks think Apple will take a jab at Google Maps during WWDC starting Monday.

What does this mean for small local businesses?

What does this mean for SMB’s? Especially for those businesses who have spent hours optimizing Google Place pages only to see them recently sucked into the vortex of Google + Local?

Continue reading

New Facebook Ad Optimizations

Good for Small Business or Just too much?

Recently Facebook has begun allow advertisers using its Ads API to improve post click actions.  Now able to think beyond “like”,  Advertisers can now optimize and target any specific post-click action on the social network, such as sharing a brand’s content to the news feed, buying virtual goods in their apps, or redeeming one of the new Facebook Offers at a local brick-and-mortar store.  Josh Constine has written a particularly insightful article about the changes.  In his article Josh details several factors for which advertisers can now optimize.

New Facebook ads manager. Good for Local business or too much?

New Facebook Ads Manager Dashboard  (via Techcrunch.com)

Is this good news for Local Business?  Or is it just more piled on the already over-loaded plate of Local Business’ Social Media efforts?

Continue reading