Displaying items by tag: social media promotion
Imagine this scenario! You've got a new website on a new domain. It looks great, it works well, and you've generated some quality content. So you sit back and wait for it to show up in the search listings......and it doesn't appear.
Weeks go by, you check every day, and still no sign of it appearing so you start getting worried. You ask yourself what's wrong with the site?.....why is Google ignoring it? At this point people usually start panicking and think that all their dreams of success are over before they even started!
Well the good news is there's no need to panic! The bad news is that you're going to have to wait a lot longer! Maybe up to 6 months! Because you're in the Google Sandbox!
What is Google Sandbox?
Quite simply it's a filter imposed on new sites. It’s purpose is to restrict ranking, especially for high-competition keywords, until the site is more established and can display a proven quality and trust factor. Look at it this way.....would you recommend a tradesman to a friend unless you're absolutely convinced of their professionalism, reliability, and integrity? And this is exactly the same thing!
It's interesting to note that Google actually deny there's a Sandbox. But they have a history of being deliberately vague in divulging information about their algorithms and evaluation processes.....so their statement has to be taken with a pinch of salt. Therefore, you just have to accept that with a new site and new domain you will have to wait to reap the full benefit of the work you've done.
What can you do to speed up the process?
Basically it comes down to demonstrating quality and trust. Make sure your site has regular quality content added, have SSL Security in place, and generate more activity across Social Media Channels.
With Social Media you can still be getting in front of people without Google's help.....so put your efforts there. A little and often is the best method. But don't start a Spamfest or you'll find yourself restricted on there as well!
Whatever you do, do not employ one of these self-professed "SEO Experts" who relentlessly bombard you with unwanted mail. That will cost you money and it won't end well. You could find yourself on Google's blacklist very easily and it could take you years to get off it. There is no quick fix in this situation....other than pay for Google Adwords. But that can end up being quite expensive so only go there as a last resort.
My message to those people with new sites and new domains is you have to be patient. Follow best practices in the way the site is built, keep generating quality content, and take advantage of the outreach that Social Media can give you. It will pay off in the end!
Google and Twitter appear to be getting closer as the announcement has been made that Tweets will now be appearing in Google search results. Initially this will only take effect on mobile search results in English, but desktop searches will be following right behind.
What this means to you is that even though you may not have the search engine positioning that you'd like, you can now fast track your products or services into the results via Twitter.
The same method applies to this as with all Social Media marketing.....a little and often, because the shelf-life of these posts tends to be about 6 to 8 hours. After that it's old news. Choose your times carefully though, early morning and early evening is primetime for target audiences.
Now I know some of you tend to be less than enthusiastic about Twitter, and I readily admit that I spend no time on there other than to post a few tweets a couple of times a day. But the fact remains that it does reach a huge target audience.
And with these latest changes where they will show up on the Google search results, I'd advise you all to take advantage of this opportunity.
As with all Social Media, remember that you don't have to like it to use it. You just have to keep in mind that it's part of the game that we all have to play these days. And now this part of the game just became a whole lot more important.
The IT industry has always evolved at a fast pace, and never more so than in recent years with the massive expansion of mobile computing as a part of everyday life.
I can remember over 20 years ago when the internet was predominantly text documents and grainy images delivered via a 9.9k analogue modem. Back in those days I'd speak to businesses about getting websites and they had absolutely no idea of what the internet was. Many dismissed it as a passing craze, but by the late 90's people had realised how important it really was. Which then brought about the dotcom boom!
After that point the technology obviously became more sophisticated, but every week I'd read about "the next big thing" that was going to change everything. In most cases they came and went, never even causing a ripple on the surface. So I began to get cynical.....to the point that any potential initiative was viewed as the latest internet fad. Without realising it, I became resistant to change. That's a bad move in this industry, and I'll give you an example of when I made the wrong call. It was a howler!
In 2006 as FaceBook started gaining momentum, and a year or two later when Twitter came along......I dismissed them both.
In my defence I had lived through the rise and fall of Yahoo Geocities and MySpace, so I had solid reasons to be sceptical.
My non-involvement and total dismissal of these initiatives continued until 2011. Then it hit me that these types of Social Media were not going to disappear as their predecessors had done.....in fact they had turned into massive platforms for business initiatives!
I looked carefully, saw a big game going on......and we weren't in it. All our competitors were highly active with huge followings.....but we didn't even exist.
For the next two years we focussed on clawing back the deficit caused by those wasted years where I'd got cynical, complacent, and resistant to change. I learned from that though.....now I embrace every new initiative at the outset. Because if you don't, you could end up outside looking in.
Consequently, when the mobile computing boom came along (which was the biggest ever gamechanger), we jumped on it straight away. In fact at one point in early 2013 we were the only designer in Google's top ten to be mobile compatible, as I wasn't going to make another gaff like the Social Media fiasco.
I think that as we get older we become less accepting of change, and I'm sure there was an element of this involved when I made the wrong call on Social Media. I fell into the trap of thinking that if something has always worked well on the current business model that's being employed.....then why change?
But in business terms that's a dangerous way of thinking, because invariably the business scenario around us is changing and evolving all the time. It's a case of the game keeps changing, and unless you move with those changes then ultimately you could find that you're no longer part of the game.
As I've said in previous articles, Social Media is very important, but mobile compatibility is critical!
This is not something in the future.....it's right here, right now! The future is now upon us.....and it's called Mobile Computing! Are you a part of it?
Everybody wants great search engine positioning, but the methods to achieve that goal have changed a lot in recent years. There are still technical elements within a site that are highly relevant, but the unscrupulous methods employed by some in the past no longer work. Essentially you cannot cheat your way to the top.....because you will get caught out and the penalties will be severe.
WebSpain have never employed any of these methods, we've always emphasised that quality content that delivers value to the reader must be paramount. So when Google changed it's algorithms in the past few years, none of our clients were penalised in any way.
Quality content is so important, and it must be content that engages with the user and delivers your business message in a clear and professional way. But having quality content that nobody reads is a total waste of time, and results in lost business opportunities and diminished brand awareness.
And this is where Social Media promotion comes in! Because this opens up a huge target market, and it costs you nothing except for a few minutes of your time every day.
How big is this market? In March 2014 Facebook reported it had 665 million active users each day which was up 26% from a year earlier. Even more surprising was that over 750 million people are using Facebook from a mobile device each month.....up 54% from 2013 figures. Which reinforces our message on the importance of mobile responsive websites being essential today.
So what can you do to get a piece of this action?
1. Ensure that you have FaceBook, Twitter, Google Plus, Linkedin, and Pinterest pages!
2. Share info from your site every day. Only a couple of items....a little and often is the best way.
3. Get more likes, friends, followers on these networks. If you don't, you're only talking to yourself!
4. Encourage user interaction and shares amongst your target audience.
5. Ensure your website is mobile responsive. Otherwise you'll lose out on that audience.
6. Be consistent.....this will only reap benefits long term.
People have said to me that they're not keen on Twitter, or Google Plus etc.....but the bad news is that they're still part of the game. Ignoring a major social media network because you don't like it is not in your best interests, so I'd strongly advise against it. And another very important factor is that search engines now include Social Media popularity as part of their algorithms. So besides getting you in front of more people you can boost your rankings as well.
Not convinced? OK....let me give you an example: In August 2013 I launched Motorcycle Sport purely as a leisure interest.....but I also used it as a new site to test the initiatives listed above. Since the time of launch I've focussed on Social Media promotion for it....nothing else. The site is a basic IP Board forum, no technical innovations, no paid Ads etc......just Social Media promotion.
At present, it has over 12,000 members with around 15,000 unique visitors per month, and the FaceBook page has over 3000 "likes".....which is rising every day. Please note that these are real "likes".....they're not paid "likes" which some people resort to using. There is no benefit in that whatsoever, you have not increased your real target market, and once again it's cheating!
All our "likes" are from motorcycle enthusiasts worldwide.....they want to see our content and have voluntarily decided to follow the page! And in many cases they share the content onto their Activity Streams, thereby putting us in front of more of our target market.
That's what has been done, and the image shows the results on Google for the term Motorcycle Sport Forum.
It's on page one at number one, ahead of major international media and publishing groups who have been established for many years, and probably have marketing budgets well into six figures. It cost me nothing except a few minutes of my time every day.
So you can make a difference, and you don't need to pay anybody to do it for you. It takes a bit of time and it does take commitment on a regular basis. But this example shows that no matter how small your company may be, you can take initiatives that can have a very positive longterm effect on your business!