23 Super Useful Social Media Resources for SEO’s

It’s no secret that social media is playing a bigger role in the way in which today’s online marketers increase the visibility of their clients online, from prospecting potential links, generating content, circulating media and even utilising profiles to rank for their keywords.

Currently site authority is mainly measured by the quality and quantity of links. It is a commonly growing belief in the internet marketing community that the major search engines are moving towards analysing where a website should rank based on the author’s authority and also who’s sharing that content on social media.

Google+

Despite what some people believe Google+ isn’t a complete ghost town and a lot of very smart SEO’s are making the most of this social network from Google. As Google+ is still relatively small compared to Twitter and Facebook there are a lot more opportunities for you to connect with key influencers and find people who will be willing to share your content.

10 Tips to take Advantage of Google+ for SEO – Cyrus Shepard published this really handy guide on Google+ over at SEOmoz. It covers some really handy tips to help you obtain dofollow links from your Google+ profile and a few tips you can use for outreach with thought leaders in your space.

Expert Tips for Google+, Twitter and Quora – Kelvin Newman offers some more tips and tricks for making the most of your social media profiles.

The Ultimate Guide to Google+ SEO – I couldn’t sleep at night if I missed off this monster guide from AJ Kohn who has quickly become an authority on Google+. AJ has also written a lot other great guides and delivered some presentations with very handy tips on G+, so be sure to add him to your circles.

The Google+ Cheatsheet – you like cheat sheets don’t you, well I know I do because I am too lazy busy to have to remember everything I need to about a particular topic or web tool. Be sure to keep this guide to hand while you get to grips with Google+.

How to Prepare for AuthorRank – Mike Arnesen’s blog post over on SEOmoz has already earned over 130 thumbs up and I’ve no doubt in my mind it’s going to earn a lot more. Mike covers off a lot of topics you need to be aware of in this post including ways in which you can begin to build your AuthorRank.

Twitter

Twitter is a Social Media powerhouse and according to Shareaholic provides approximately 1% of all traffic to websites.

15 Sites That You can use your Twitter Profile to get Links – Kristi Hines shares a multitude of sites that either automatically link back to you using information in your Twitter profile or will allow you to sign in with Twitter and add links because of it.

8 Secrets To Use Twitter For SEO – Bufferapp run through their top 8 tips and provide examples of how they worked based on this video from Rand Fishkin.

Wistia

Link Building with Twitter – over on the Point Blank SEO blog I share 2 great (and free) tools and how you can use them to get links to your website.

10 Twitter SEO Tips –  Mashable run down their top 10 easy tips to maximising your Twitter profile for search equity.

Twitter Competitions to Grow your followers  – Gaz Copeland gives you a a full run down on how to use a Twitter competiton to increase the followers on your account.

How Twitters Bad SEO affects your ORM – Italian SEO Giuseppe Pastore shares his insights into the dangers of linking to your Twitter profile incorrectly and the impact this can have on your online reputation management efforts, Giuseppe has recently updated his  Twitter SEO analysis.

Facebook

The behemoth of Social Networks with 1billion users this site is by far the most well known and used by small businesses to market their products and services to this huge audience.

7 Ways to get Shared on Facebook – Read through Traffic Generation Café’s advice for getting your content shared on Facebook.

SEO for Facebook Pages – this guide runs through how to edit and keyword optimise your Facebookfan page. It’s a very basic guide but puts to rest a lot of myths that many other Facebook SEO guides spout.

How to get your Business on Facebook – When you’re ready to create a fully customised Facebook Page there are some key components that you should consider.

Increase Fan Engagement on Facebook – Even if you’re active on your Facebook page posting regular status updates, interacting with fans and answering questions, you’re probably still missing out.

The Oatmeal Guide to Facebook – if there is just 2 Facebook articles you are going to read this year then make sure it’s this one and this one on how to get more likes.

Pinterest

Apparently Pinterest is in the top 4 traffic sources beating out the well known Social Media giant Twitter and search engines Yahoo and Bing by quite a distance. But let’s not get too hasty this is still less than 2% of web traffic.

But the sudden growth in Pinterest over the past 12 months can’t be ignored. The audience on Pinterest is different from the major social networks because most people use it to find inspiration.

How to Use Pinterest for Link Building – shameless self promotion time but it’s my blog and I’ll link to who I want to. In this post I have collated a selection of very useful tools you can use to find out who is pinning yours and your competitors content,  how you can earn links and gain more traffic to your website.

Five Step Guide to Pinterest for SEO – Jonny Ross runs through a few quick pointers for you to make the most of Pinterest to drive traffic back to your websites.

Best of the Rest

The below sites and communities are not on the levels of the big boys mentioned above but they still have very active communities which can drive traffic to your site or help you rank for difficult keywords.

How to Get More Instagram Followers – a great guide to getting more engagement on your Instagram account.

How to Use Quora if you are an SEO – Wordstream run through their top tips to make the most of Quora if you work in the search industry.

The Power of Slideshare – Tom Critchlow writes for Distilled about the great benefits of using SlideShare as part of your inbound marketing toolkit. Active communities like SlideShare as great places to get extra exposure and expand your reach.

SlideShare SEO -  follow AJ Kohn’s tips for creating presentations that will rank highly in the SERP’s and deliver traffic to your site.

The Reddit Guide to Massive Traffic – Neil Patel shares his top tips for delivering huge amounts of traffic from Reddit. Be careful planning a marketing campaign on Reddit as they are very web savvy and can spot commercial intent a mile off.

I hope this post has given you some inspiration to begin to use your social media accounts in different ways to improve your visibility in the SERP’s if you have any more tips or resources to utilising social networks for SEO please drop share in the comments below.

Getting More Traffic and Links with Pinterest

Pinterest is a fast growing platform and one where I have been carrying out a lot more work for clients in the past few weeks. I have had some successes with getting more Pinterest traffic and even some great links from bloggers by using Pinterest as an outreach tool. So in this blog I’ll share some tips and tricks I have picked up.

How to Drive More Traffic from Pinterest

The first thing to do is make sure your content on Pinterest can be found easily.  A lot of Pinners don’t add a description to the images they are pinning and therefore it is hard to find them when you conduct a search in Pinterest.

You want to treat your description as if you were writing an excerpt for a blog post, so make sure you advise of the benefits of the visitor clicking through to your site. You have a maximum of 500 characters but I have found keeping descriptions around 50-150 characters, you can also add a web address and hashtags in your description.

Next you want to add a Pin it Social button to your website so your visitors can pin any images they like on your site. Navigate to the Goodies area and scroll down to the Pin it Button for Websites area.

Fill in the relevant fields and then an embed code will appear which you can add to your site.

If you have a WordPress site then there are a number of Free Plugins you can install on your site.

Now you have optimised your blog or website for Pinterest you want to visit your evergreen content that still receives traffic from search engines or referrals. If your site doesn’t have too many images then you want to add some nice looking photos and pinnable images, such as memes or inspirational quotes.

For one of my clients who were a food blog I created some funny quotes based on the recipes on the site; if you aren’t au fait with Photoshop or other image editing software then hop on over to Fiverr there are lots of designers who will be more than happy to provide you with some cost effective images based upon your requirements. With in just a few days of adding these images to the site referral traffic from Pinterest was up by 65% & the average Pinterest visitor stayed on the site for about 6-7 minutes and there was a reasonable bounce rate of 42%.

If you are looking for more ideas to developing content for Pinterest then I recommend this post on SEOmoz by Coby Almond.

Is it time to invest our budgets in Pinterest content?

A lot of businesses are starting to invest their marketing budgets in creating boards, contests and Pinterest targeted content and with the news that Pinterest is now driving more traffic than Bing, Twitter or Stumbleupon you can start to understand why. Shareaholic is one of the main providers of social sharing buttons and collates their data across 200,000 websites. They have a reach of approximately 300 million so are a fairly reliable data source. From the below figures you can clearly see that in June Pinterest over took Twitter in driving traffic to websites but when you actually look closer at the numbers you see an interesting set of results.

Source: Shareaholic All Traffic Sources Report

It is clear to see from the table above that the total traffic driven to websites via Social Media is approximately 10-11%, with Direct traffic driving almost twice that amount and Google search bringing in 45% of all traffic. So I wouldn’t be making a significant reduction in my search budget to start to focus on expensive Pinterest friendly content just yet. But that’s not to say you can’t create something small scale and affordable to increase the likelihood your content is shared.

Source: Repinly

However if you are running a business within a niche that is popular with the stereotypical Pinterest user e.g. Food and Drink, Women’s clothing or home decor then it is more important that you begin to define a clear strategy than if you are a car mechanic or health care provider.

Who is Pinning my Content?


Once you have devised your Pinterest content strategy you want to begin to understand who is pinning your images to their boards. You can do this yourself by going to Pinterest.com and adding your domain name after source.

There are also two tools that I have used recently when carrying out this type of analysis. The first is by Gaz Copeland which is a simple bookmarklet that allows you to see which images have been pinned and by who when you are browsing a website.

 

Gaz’s Pinterest Tool

 

The other bookmarklet is by Aaron Friedman and Josh Nankin which does a very similar job to Gaz’s bookmarklet but instead of taking you to Pinterest to view this data it creates a CSV file you can download and manipulate in Excel.

 

Pinterest CSV Tool

 

To add these bookmarklets to your browser just drag and drop them to your bookmarks bar.

Once you know who is pinning your content (or your competitors content) you can begin to devise an outreach strategy to obtain more Pins or links.

Using Pinterest as an Outreach Tool

The great thing about Pinterest is how personal it is. It really is an insight into the lifestyle a person either lives or aspires to live. You can find out what food’s they like, what cars they want to drive, the holidays they enjoyed and the books or movies they love. This information is absolutely gold to an outreach specialist or link builder.

For example if I was carrying out an outreach campaign for a “link building infographic” I can run a simple Pinterest search for my keywords. For this example I will use the keyword phrase “Link Building Infographic”.

From this search I can find out the pins that have received the most re-pins, likes and comments. I can also click on a pin and see what the source URL is; so I can begin to create a list of blogs I might want to target with my blogger outreach campaign too.

Another useful insight I like is the fact you can find the most common people who your target re-pins. Which gives you more influential people to add to your target list.  Once I have created a list of pinners I then try to segment them even further to find the really heavy hitters. I do this by asking myself the following 4 questions.

 

  1. How popular is my target on Pinterest?
  2. Are they regular contributors?
  3. How active are they on other social media networks?
  4. How good is their personal website?

Now, I have segmented my targets I can now begin to start my outreach.

Source: Repinly

I have found the best way to begin a conversation with a Pinner is by commenting on their pins. Most popular bloggers will receive hundreds of emails and blog comments every week. But the great thing about Pinterest is that not many people are commenting on the site (just 0.5% of Pinterest users spend time commenting), so by doing so you really will stand out. Once you have let them know who you are, you can take the conversation to email or another social media platform.

To obtain the best results from your outreach you want to consider following my A, B, C’s of blogger outreach:

  1. Association –How can I develop a long term relationship? Could I offer a series of guest posts? Could I run a contest?
  2. Be Specific – Bloggers are pressed for time so what do you want them to do? Pin your content? Publish a guest post? Do an Interview?
  3. Content – Is my content unique or adding value? Is my content informative or entertaining? Is it relevant to their community?

Here is an example of an email I used for a recent infographic campaign once I had started to develop some basic relationships with my target bloggers:

Hi <redacted>,

I came across your site via Pinterest and wanted to share this new <redacted> infographic.

I was wondering if you’d be willing to share the infographic with the readers on your blog? I think <redacted>

Anyway I have published it here: <link>

If you do want to share it, here is an easy to copy embed code:

<embed code>

If you have any trouble with the embed code or have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thanks for your time,

Chris

As you can see I was brief and gave them clear instructions as to what I needed them to do.

I hope this blog post has gone some way to helping you use Pinterest better as part of your social media strategy. If you have any questions or great Pinterest case studies please drop them in the comments below.

 

Use Content Curation to Drive More Traffic

For the last couple of weeks I have been using a content curation service called Scoop.it to generate lots of referral traffic to my blog posts and I’ve decided to share what I have learned so far and also show how content curation can help you to grow your social network too.

What is Content Curation?

If you have a good understanding of the new social web landscape then there is no doubt that the term “content is king” comes up again and again. Content is the currency of the internet and by sharing your own great content and other people’s great content you will grow your social network and be held in high regard by your followers as the go to source or expert in your field.

By following all the latest news sources in your niche you can soon find yourself overrun with numerous RSS Feeds, Tweets, Google+ updates and Facebook shares flashing  before your eyes every day. This is where content curation comes in; quite simply content curation is the process of filtering out the best content that you find and then sharing this with your networks.

What is Scoop.it?

Scoop.it is a content curation service, but rather than have me rattle on about it you can watch this brief video below.

Scoop.it has the latest news delivered to you and allows you to re-share it with your social network. Another great aspect of Scoop.it is that other people can suggest for content to be added to your pages too. Scoop.it have a free entry profile which allows you to setup 5 pages and get used to the interface, if you want to curate information in more niches or have analytical data then you need to upgrade to a paid membership.

How to Use Scoop.it

The key to being a great content curator is by picking a niche in which to share your information and vigilantly sticking to it. The narrower the niche you decide to curate content in, the better. If you decide to setup a Scoop.it page about knitting patterns the majority of your regular followers are unlikely to be interested in your curated content on pictures of kittens.

First things first, go to Scoop.it and sign up with either your Twitter or Facebook Profile.

You will then see a screen similar to this one where you fill in the name, description and keywords for your new page.

Pro Tip: Use Google’s Keyword Tool to find keywords that people looking for your content may use. If you want to learn more you can read my blog post on using the Google Keyword Tool.

Now that your page is created you want to setup your news sources. Simply enter your keywords into the search box, these keywords will be checked regularly in Google, Digg and Youtube for the latest content in your niche. Next you want to click on Advanced Options. This is where knowing your niche comes into its own:

As you can see from the above image you can add in various personalised news sources such as RSS Feeds, Twitter accounts and lists, Google News Search, Google Blog Search and OPML files from Google Reader. You want to add all the best curators and thought leaders in your Niche to this list & the best blog feeds too.

Protip: Use a blog curator such as AllTop to grab your feed and setup a Twitter List of interesting people you can add to easily so you don’t have to keep adding them to your Scoop.it sources.

Now you are ready to start your new career as a content curator. After about an hour Scoop.it will have scraped your RSS feeds, Twitter Followers and searched Google for new content based on your keywords. Simply clicking Scoop.it will scoop the news to your page, from here you can share it with your Twitter and Facebook accounts, add tags to make the Scoop easier to find and change the text or images. If you don’t like a suggested article simply click discard and the page is removed.

Pro Tip: Install the Scoop.it App (its free) and add the Scoop.it bookmarklet to make it easier to Scoop content on the fly.

If you see a piece of content on another Scooper’s page you can “rescoop” it by clicking the arrows that look like a refresh button. It is also common etiquette to thank (thumbs up) your fellow content curator when you rescoop their find.

Generating Traffic to your Site with Scoop.it

Well there are two ways to get traffic from Scoop.it, the first is obviously to add your own blog posts & photos to your page. This will have limited results, just like running any web site, until you grow your following. Building a following takes time and may require weeks of curating and sharing great content, following other people on Scoop.it and commenting on other peoples Scoops. If you are anything like me this looks a lot like hard work, but by doing this I have noticed I am sharing lots more content with my Twitter followers and growing my followers.

So the second and quicker way, and I’m sure all the link builders have spotted this already, is to suggest your content to other users.

There are people on Scoop.it who already receive hundreds and hundreds of views per day to their pages and in one of the examples above they have had over 130k views in less than a few months. So by suggesting your own content to their page you have a chance that your post will be accepted and a good percentage of their fellow Scoopers will come flooding to your site and re-scoop your page to their followers and other social networks too.

To start you need to find who the influencers are in your niche. This is easy to do by searching for your keyword in the search bar at the top or by browsing the topics based on popularity and current trends.

You can then quickly research the curator as their profiles often contain links to their other social profiles e.g. Twitter or Facebook.

From the this example you can clearly see links to this Scoop.it users Linked.in, Twitter and Facebook Accounts.

As any experienced linkbuilder will tell you its important to build a relationship with a Social Media Influencer first rather than just bombard them with requests out of the blue. By engaging with them on other social networks and where possible find their website and contact information you can then begin to approach them with suggestions for their Scoop.it accounts.

My favourite tool at the moment to research potential link targets is Follower Wonk. It is a great way to learn more about who your influencer influences. It will also help you discover if they have any “Thought leaders” within their network, so you can gauge whether or not your suggested content will go Viral if it is shared by them too.

My last blog post on Automating Google+ with your other Social Media Accounts was curated on a very popular Google+ Scoop.it page. Over the next 48 hours I received about two hundred visitors from this page and two other pages that re-scooped my blog post. I also received a 10% increase in traffic from Twitter and Facebook than normal during this period too.

But, isn’t Content Curation Bad for my SEO?

In a post Panda World I can understand why people might worry about “duplicated content” but the thing about content curation services such as Scoop.it is that you never republish the whole web page. The web page is also linked back to from Scoop.it providing confirmation of the contents origins and although most of links on Scoop.it are no-followed, to prevent spamming, a link is still a link.

Many businesses forget that SEO is not just about links or chasing the number one spot in the SERP’s but by growing and diversifying the traffic to your website. By having diverse traffic sources you will be able to continue to grow your business online for a long time to come no matter what happens with the next big “algo” change.

If you have had any positive or negative experiences with curation services such as Scoop.it please leave a comment below.

How To Post To Your Social Media Accounts From Google+

There are some updates troubleshooting some issues people had while implementing some of the actions in this post within the comments.

Google+ is here to stay, the launch of Google’s “Search+ your World” feature now means it is critical to make sure that as a marketer you are using Google+ to share your and other people’s content and grow your network with their service.

If you haven’t already started to use Google’s new social media service then below is a link to video from Rand Fishkin, the founder of SEOMoz, who explains the importance of utilising Google+ quite eloquently:

I’m sure if you are anything like me being active on yet another Social Media platform is something you just don’t have a lot of time to do. So this blog post is just to show you a few quick tools you can use to update your other Social Media services notably Twitter, Facebook and WordPress from your Google+ account.

Using IFTTT and RSS Feeds

IFTTT, If This Then That, is a great tool to automate your life on the internet. I mentioned it in my previous Social Media automation blog post and more features are being added every single day to the service. By reusing some of the recipes I have created you can easily post to your all your social media accounts from Google+.

The first recipe to use is Google Plus RSS Feed to Twitter this allows you to automatically post to your Twitter account when your Google Plus is updated. There maybe a slight delay between the two as Google are still only allowing developers to use RSS and haven’t released an API for developers yet. Simply authorise IFTTT to post to your Twitter account and follow the simple instructions.

The next recipe you need to setup is Google Plus to Facebook this does a very similar thing to the Twitter recipe above, simply authorise IFTTT to post to your Facebook wall and add your Google Plus RSS Feed too.

Using an Email from Google+ to Update a WordPress Blog

OK this is slightly more technical than just using IFTTT but if you can setup a POP3 email account then you should be able to do this.

  1. Firstly you want to create a unique email address, something like [email protected] it needs to be an email address no one will be able to guess. I don’t recommend using a free service such as Gmail or Yahoo.
  2. Now login to WordPress and scroll down to your Settings > Writing and fill in the name of the mail server and port number your web hosting provider uses.
  3. Next, enter the login name and password for your new e-mail account and select the default category that your Google Plus emails will be posted to.
  4. Now you need to add the following HTML into your WordPress theme footer:
    <iframe src="http://yourblogdomain/wordpressinstalldir/wp-mail.php" name="mailiframe" 
    width="0" height="0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title=""></iframe>
  5. Finally go to Google+ and create a new Circle. You can call it blog, WordPress, or whatever you want. Go to add the email address that you just created and tied to your blog, to the new circle.
  6. Now when ever you want to share a Google+ post on your blog, just add your new “blog” circle to the list of users you are sharing with. Make sure that “Also email 1 person not yet using Google+” is checked, and hit Share.

If you get stuck with syncing your email to your blog follow these more detailed instructions by WordPress
.

There’s an App for That

Finally, if you are out and about and want to post to Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus simultaneously there is an iPhone app that will allow you to do so. iStatus+ is a great little app that any social media junkie would be happy to have in their toolkit. It’s as simple as adding all your account information into the app and off you go. For a bargain basement price of 69p ($0.99) then you can’t go wrong.

iStatus - Google plus App

As this app also allows you to post to Twitter, the app is probably better for shorter updates as Twitter as a limit of just 140 characters, but you can easily exclude Twitter from longer updates by just tapping its icon above the keyboard.

I hope that’s helped you keep on top of updating all of your social media profiles, please leave your comments below if you have any more great tips.

Social Media on Autopilot for Busy People

Anyone who’s anyone is talking about Social Media and how it is the new way to find new customers and interact with your old ones.  I can understand that many busy business owners probably struggle to find enough hours in the day to remember to eat, let alone Tweet. I rarely write about Social Media on this blog but I thought I would share this tactic I recently used for a new client. My client was a very busy local business owner who didn’t have a single Social Media account let alone a Social Media strategy, and I certainly didn’t have the time to look after another account too so I went about finding ways to save time for us both.

Everyday my Twitter and Google+ streams are full of people in my niche sharing other people’s great content and by doing so getting more and more followers, they become “Thought Leaders” or subject matter experts. You see the Social Media is just that “Social” if you want to be popular on Twitter you need to do just 3 things… that’s right 3 things!

  1. Engage with other people
  2. Share & Reshare other peoples great content
  3. Share your own content

I have put these things in their order of importance and as you can see talking about yourself is the last thing to do. By  sharing really good content you will get more followers and not just any old followers, engaged followers  & people who think you are the person with their finger on the pulse in your industry.

But, I don’t have time to sit on Twitter or LinkedIn all day looking for Infographics, Videos or blogs to share with my followers.

Well this is why I am going to show you a great tool & a couple of tips which will allow you to do this on autopilot!

Find the Content Specialists

Firstly you need to find the top bloggers  in your industry. You probably already know who a few of these are, but you can either do a quick search on Google or use a blog directory; Alltop is a superb place to start and so is Technorati

You want to make a list of the RSS feeds of all the blogs you like in a text file. If you don’t know what an RSS Feed is read this

Automatically Post to Social Media

The RSS to Twitter service dlvr.it is the go to service here, it’s dead easy to setup and allows you to post to a number of social accounts at the same time including Twitter, LinkedIn  and Facebook. All you have to do is paste in the feeds and add your social profiles.

If you want you can also add more rules to your feeds so that only posts containing or not containing particular words, this allows you to have some editorial control over what updates are shared with your audience. You can also add extra text to the update such as hashtags or an intro or call to action such as “Read this Great Article…”  will help get your updates noticed.

dlvr.it provides metrics such as the number of clicks and retweets you receive and it will show you your most popular content for the past 7 days… did I mention it was free?

Another great feature I use with dlvr.it is their schedule a post. This allows you to setup announcements in advance in case you are away or you could reshare some of your popular content from the past to your new followers or people who may have missed it.

Engaging With Followers on Autopilot

Remember rule number 1?

That’s right engage with other people on Social Media, well there is a great service that I discovered only a few weeks ago called ifttt , pronounced ift as in lift.

IFTTT stands for “If This Then That”, it allows you to automate tasks online such as you can back up your Instagram photos to Dropbox automatically or you can receive an alert if someone tags you on Facebook.

The automated tasks or “recipes” I use the most are:

  1. Thank someone on Twitter if they RT me
  2. Greet New Twitter Follower
  3. Post Tweets with #FB to Facebook
  4. Email me when someone mentions me on Twitter
  5. Send an SMS when a particular person sends out a Tweet (I’m not stalker honest)

The tasks above are great especially if you send a tweet to someone who might mention you with the hashtag #FF (Follow Friday) or you can jump online if you receive an SMS as one of your friends has mentioned you or tagged you on Facebook.

ifttt is growing rapidly and more and more services are being added to improve your automation online, it really is very easy to use and I recommend you go setup a few recipes now, at the moment I am setting up a task to send me a Google Calendar update to “Remember an Umbrella” if tomorrows weather report is predicting rain.

By using tools such as ifttt and dlvr.it it means you don’t have to spend hours online everyday and can start to get more out of social media.

If you have any more great Social Media automation tips please feel free to leave a comment below or send me a tweet

+Chris Dyson