Monday, June 30, 2014

There’s an app for that

Social Media Management Apps

Social Media is here so it only makes sense for someone to come up with a social media management system for updating posts on multiple social media channels. Here are few applications that are built to help you do just that.

social media management
Social Media Management
Everypost. is a mobile application which lets you simultaneously publish updates to a variety of networks like Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Linkedin and Tumblr.
What makes this app unique is that you can customize the posts that you create per channel, allowing you to populate all of your feeds without sounding as though you just copied and pasted the message. That means that you could alert your Twitter followers about an upcoming sale with a quick tweet, post a long form description of the sale on Facebook and share the product that's on sale via a service like Pinterest. This is a great app for sharing on the go and making sure all of your social bases are covered when creating new content via mobile and ofcourse SEO.

Buffer. This app is for the site owners who lack time. Well I guess that’s all of us. If you do not have enough time to spend on writing posts for social media, then this app is for you. Available on both the web and as a mobile app. Buffer allows you to write several posts. Then choose which source or channels to post them to. It spreads them out equally throughout the day or even the week for you.

The next app is something called SocialOomph. It was originally developed specifically for Twitter.  SocialOomph now helps you manage Facebook, Linkedin, and your RSS feeds. If you go to, you’ll see a large list of features for both their free and professional level accounts.

Number four is HootSuite. HootSuite is one of the most full featured social media apps on the market. In addition to allowing you to post and schedule updates to all of your various social profiles, HootSuite also offers detailed reporting on things like Twitter accounts and Facebook pages allowing you to track follower growth, engagement, and the effectiveness of your updates. Hootsuite does have a free plan, but to get the most out of it you might want to upgrade to a Pro account.

The final app is a suite of apps called SocialFlow. SocialFlow has three main components. The first of which is called Cadence, which is an online publishing platform that allows you to deliver messages across multiple networks and track their effectiveness. Forte, which is a system for buying and posting promoted content, like Facebook posts and promoted tweets. Crescendo, which allows marketers to purchase ads at the cheapest price by monitoring different conversations and actions of the fans on that network and then placing the ad in the stream at the most effective time.

Apps like these are just like the social platforms themselves, not every network can fit everyone. And not every app will fit every business. Remember your integrated marketing plan and see if these resources will help you reach your marketing goals. You need to explore several options, try them out and see what works best for you, your team and your organization as a whole.

Steve Steinberger

Friday, June 27, 2014

Vine a short form video service

What is Vine

Let’s talk about Vine. Vine? If you don't know what it is, it's basically a short form video service that allows you to post six-second clips. Marketers are really grasping on to things like this and Instagram video to create some really interesting content. What makes Vine so interesting is that they recently rolled out their web profile system which allows you to create a web profile using the Vine system and also set a custom URL to direct your followers.

So Vine is a short form video service that allows you to create 6 second videos like stop-motion, short different types of videos that marketers are using to showcase products and services. 

It's a really interesting platform and with the new web interface, it should only continue to grow. 

Remember Vine is not Login using your Vine credentials which is usually tied to your Twitter account or signup using your email.

Once you are logged in choose settings. On the Settings page, scroll down to the bottom and look for the Custom URL section. Click that to get your custom URL.  Vine will confirm whether or not that name is available. If it is then you can confirm that address by pressing the confirm button. If you get an error message that says something like, your account is not eligible for a custom URL at this time, Don’t Panic! It’s probably because your account is newer than 30 days. Your account has to be at least 30 days old and you have to have at least two posts online in order to make this work.

So make sure you have two posts. You can create dummy posts to get it started. Once you have the two posts and your account is at least 30 days old you can create a custom URL. Then you can then use it will take your followers to your page where they can see product infomercials, stop motion videos or whatever you want to show.

Is it right for your business or product, maybe not? All social sharing platforms do not fit all types of businesses. Vine and Instagram and all these short form video services are only going to continue to grow and become bigger platforms for brands and businesses.

You need to go ahead and lock in your name while you still can. So go ahead and log into Vine and set up your custom URL, using the method that I just showed you.

Steve Steinberger

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Social Media Hastags

How to use hashtags on Social Media

If you use social media marketing you might be wondering about hashtag.  Basically, a hashtag is a word or phrase that you append to your social media posts that allows users to easily search like-minded content and participate in large format discussions on those various networks. They are always prefixed by a pound sign or a number sign and usually appear as a link inside the post that they're attached to. This makes it easy for someone to click on that link and access more information or a thread of conversations about that topic.

Hashtags were first used on Twitter as a way of accessing threads of information and conversations, but have since made their way onto other networks like Facebook and Google+. On Google+, you have the option of tagging your post yourself with hashtags. Or simply letting Google search your content and find relevant keywords and having it append the hashtags to your post for you. If you were to click on any one of the hashtags that are associated with the post it's going to take you to a search page where you can see all of the pages, posts and trending topics related to the hashtag that you clicked on.

Facebook works much the same way that Twitter does. You actually have to manually add the hashtags to your posts in Facebook in order for it to recognize it.
If you were to click on that hashtag it is going to take you to a page where you can see all of the relevant information containing that particular hashtag or posts. It can be from the company or person that it's associated with. 

So why use a hashtag in our social media marketing efforts? Well, by using hashtags, you not only can convey your brand message, but you can also make your brand become part of a larger conversation. This allows you to participate in discussions with your customers in a much different way and also reach other potential customers that might be searching for that hashtag on a given network.

Hashtags also make your content relevant to issues in real time and allow you to be easily found on social media sites. Take some time to study the trending hashtags that relate to your brand, business and the content that you're sharing. And then use that as a way of tagging your post to gain more traction across all of your networks. There are some rules to hashtagging.

Number 1, when you're hashtagging, never use spaces. None, whatsoever. If you need to separate words use capital letters instead of spaces.

That way you can easily identify each individual word. Adding capitalization does not change the search results for any hashtag. Numbers are definitely okay to use, and I would actually encourage you to use them. Punctuation in hashtags is also NOT permitted, ever. That includes periods, exclamation points and semicolons. All of that is off limits inside of hashtags. Special characters are all so a #NO-NO like asterisks, ampersands and all those weird signs you never use anyway.

None of those are allowed inside of hashtags, they just don't work. Hashtags should always be short and sweet and relevant to the post that you're creating. Do NOT write a hashtag just for the sake of writing it. That just makes you look out of touch. Give your hashtag some context. Nobody wants an all hashtag post. They need to know why you're using the hashtags that you're using. So give your content some depth by adding actual text around it and make sure that people understand why you're using it, when you're using it.

Hopefully by now you understand how to use hashtags across all of your social networks and why using them can truly help you expand your reach and maximize your social media marketing efforts. 

Steve Steinberger

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Local Search Optimization

Optimizing your website for local search

Let's talk about some things specific to local search that can help your local search marketing. First, your contact information is going to be especially important, and there are some specific things you need to put on your Contact Us page.

On the website you can find specific schema elements that make sense for your type of business and include this markup into your web pages.  Let's say on your contact page you show your name, a description of your business, your address and your phone number... By adding some tags and explicitly defining these items through the markup defined at, you'll be telling search engines exactly what type of information each piece of text represents.
local search optimization
Local Search Optimization

There are microformats for everything, from your hours of operation, to the payment types you accept, to industry- specific items like menus for restaurants. At a minimum you'll want to make sure to include your business name, address, and phone number, and you should also include things like your business email address, driving directions or a map, and a photo or two with appropriate ALT text.

Your business information should always be in presented on your footer on every page. This is a very common place that users are conditioned to look for contact information and it will ensure that they can find your information quickly from any page of your site.

Modern searchers aren't just searching for you on their desktop PCs anymore they're also searching with mobile devices when they're not at home or in the office. Much of this on-the-go searching is with local intent. Having a site that looks good and functions on mobile devices is something that will not only serves you well with the search engines responding to search queries on mobile devices, but will also ensure that your users have a positive experience with you and your site regardless what device they're using.

If you have resources or programming expertise you can choose to address some of these issues by creating a separate site exclusively for your mobile users on a separate domain or sub-domain. Or better yet, you might choose to use a responsive design that adapts to whatever size of screen your website is being rendered on from a single code base.

The bottom line is that many of your local customers are using mobile devices and if your site doesn't provide the information your mobile visitor needs, or if it crashes their browser you've probably lost a potential customer. Focusing on you're on page- optimization, your contact page, proper schema markup and mobile performance will ensure that you're taking the right steps towards local search visibility with the things that you can control on the pages of your site.

Steve Steinberger

Monday, June 23, 2014

Local Search ... its here now

The future of local search

How people use search engines to find places, things and businesses is in a constant state of change. As technology has improved local businesses have gained more and more ways to reach their customers and the pace of change is only going to speed up in the future. Perhaps the most explosive trends these days are social media and mobile device usage. Social media is something that's happening on the go more than ever before and a great example of social media working with mobile devices to deliver local content is Google+ Local Search.

local search
Local Search, the future is now 

From a mobile device that's using GPS or cell tower signals to become location aware, a whole new set of local functionality is unlocked. Users can use their mobile browsers or download iPhone or Android apps that keep them connected to their Google+ account and right from the app they can find local businesses based on their current location and read reviews from other Google+ users or people in their networks. You can also write reviews on the go, share information with your social networks and get directions to a local business from wherever you happen to be, by car, by foot, or by public transportation.

Local search is now integrated right into Google+. The important part is that this isn't something that's coming in the future. All of these features that we've just talked about are already here. This is where things are going. Your online experience is becoming more and more tailored to where you physically are and the lines between local search, social media and the kinds of devices you're using are beginning to disappear. Over and above Google+ people are using micro-blogging services like Twitter on the go and in a variety of devices from a variety of different apps.

People are checking into physical locations on networks like Foursquare, scanning QR codes to redeem coupons or getting more information about something out there in the world and they're maintaining their relationships through networks like Facebook. This nearly-endless stream of content can be overwhelming and new apps and new technologies are popping up every single day. Each and every one of these presents an opportunity, but the key is that you'll need to figure out which ones are applicable to your business and which ones are useful for your customers.

The future of local search is here. Smartphone’s and social media are helping people discover businesses in their own town that they might have otherwise overlooked. The rapid pace at which ideas become reality promises new and innovative things in the future that you'll need to be paying attention to. To further develop your local skills and to stay up-to-date on the things that is happening in local search. Make sure to keep an eye on resources like these and stay connected to your consumer base. Ultimately, they're the ones that will show you whether you're succeeding in local or not.

Steve Steinberger

Friday, June 20, 2014

Google Maps – Local Search Ranking

Local Search Ranking

Factors to focus on in the LocalSearch Ranking Factors

1. Physical address in city of search

A physical business location rather than a PO Box was the number #1 recommended factor to focus on and was considered to be very important for Google Maps local search not only on the Place Page but across all Web properties. “No crawlable physical address on website” was also ranked at number 5 as one of the Negative Ranking Factors.

local search ranking | Local SEO
Local Search Ranking | Local SEO

2. Manually owner-verified Place Pages

One of the most important factors was to manually verify each Google Place Page for local SEO rather than doing a bulk upload. This ensures that each address for the location is checked by the owner and confirmed to be correct. This is particular relevant for businesses with more than one location. It is also important to remove duplicate listings.

3. Proper Category Associations

Proper category associations were ranked as the third most important “On Place Page” factor to improve Google Place Pages’ rankings and were considered by some experts to be even more relevant than the business title when following Google’s guidelines. Categories linked to relevant keywords were thought to strongly influence search results.

4. Volume of Traditional Structured Citations

Citations are still considered an important trust point for local search by many SEO experts. There seems to be a consensus that mismatching of NAP (name, address and phone number) across the Web is a negative ranking factor.

5. Crawlable phone number matching Place Page phone number

The local SEO strategists placed a lot of weight on the need for your NAP details to be consistent on your Google Place Page and website but also on other trusted sources across the Web. It was strongly recommended that if information was incorrect on these websites, to ask that the information be corrected.

6. PageRank / Authority of Website Homepage / Highest Ranked Page

A strong consensus amongst the Google Maps optimization experts was that optimizing your website with ‘location+product/service terms’ plays a much larger role in blended Place Search rankings. Domain authority and strength ie PageRank was also suggested to play a large part in driving up your Google Place’s Pages ranking.

7. Quality of inbound links to website

Again, the local search professionals agree that SEO best practices still apply for your traditional website and a website with a strong and natural link-building profile will continue to rank highly in blended search results. The same SEO rules apply and back links must be from websites that are trusted, credible and have high authority.

8. Crawlable Phone Number Matching Place Page Phone Number

As with factor number #1, the local SEO experts agree that the phone number of the business must be the same across the Web whether it is your Google Places Page, your website or other online properties. Ideally you should have a local business number. As aforementioned, inconsistency of phone numbers is a strong negative ranking factor.

9. Local Area Code on Place Page

There is also a strong emphasis by the local search specialists on having a local number listed on your Google Place Page to help Google recognize that the Web references are referring to a local listing. It is also mentioned in Google guidelines for Google Places to “Use a local phone number instead of a call centre number whenever possible.”

10. City, State in Places Landing Page Title

The keyword of the report is ‘consistency’. For optimum local SEO, the Google Places’ landing page should have the matching city and state in the page title. This again should match the city and state listed on the Places Page, on your website and on other Web references.

Steve Steinberger

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Local Search

Understanding local search

If you're a brick-and-mortar business or if you have a local presence then it's important that you know that your potential customers are using search engines to look for local products and services. The search engines are getting pretty good at giving users exactly what they want with some very specific local types of search results. Let's say you're in West Palm Beach with a toothache that needs some immediate attention. These days the first thing you're likely to do is head do a search engine and start typing "dentist west palm beach" and looking at the current market share data you're more likely to do it on Google, than anywhere else.

Local Search
Local Seach |Results
In the search results you'll see a list of businesses in the West Palm Beach area matching your search. You'll see some special listings with location markers and a map that shows you where all those businesses are located. When you click on that marker you end up in a Google Maps interface showing a map of the area surrounding the business, and plenty of information and reviews. For each business listing that you see you can either click the link to the website or head over to that particular business' Google+ Local page, where you can find reviews, photos and even see who in your social circles has had anything to say about that business.

The bottom line is that if you're a dentist in West Palm Beach and you don't have this kind of local listing on the search engines your phone isn't very likely to be ringing. So how do you position yourself to have your business featured in these special local search results when people type in search queries with a local intent? Well, there are a few things that you can do. First off you're going to need to have a Google+ Local page. If you're not on Google+ yet now is a good time to start. The process of setting up a Google+ account and a Google+ Local page for your business is non complicated.

If you had a Google Places account, it's already been migrated to Google+Local for you. You can simply log in and make any updates or changes to leverage the new format.  Don't forget to ask your happy customers for reviews on your Google+ page. The more reviews and the more positive they are, the more likely Google is to return your pages above the competition. Next, we'll need to understand the concept of citations. Each and every mention that search engines find around the web of the name, address, or phone number of your business is considered a citation and the more citations a business gets from quality sources the more the search engines trust that this is a business searchers are looking for and the higher it can rank in local search results.

Next, your website is a critical piece of your local marketing strategy. You'll want to make sure that you have separate pages on your website for each service or category of products that you offer and you'll want to make sure that your business' name, address, and phone number are clearly identified on your website. Of course, remember your content strategy and make sure that you have relevant keywords in your copy to ensure optimal search performance. Focusing on creating, maintaining and growing your Google+ Local page, building consistent and quality citations of your name, address, and phone number around the web and focusing on the content of your website are the key ingredients that you'll need for local search success.

Steve Steinberger

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Understanding Google+ Local

Understanding Google+ Local

Google+ Local, which used to be Google Places is a place where businesses can get themselves a robust and feature-rich online listing for free. When you create a business listing on Google+ Local, you'll have the opportunity to provide basic information about your business, photos, and more. Users will be able to leave reviews for you and as an administrator you'll also get to see statistics about your visitors and the searches that they've done to bring them to your page. But all of this is only going to be seen if your visitors can find the page and there are essentially three factors that influence rankings on Google+ Local: relevance, distance, and prominence.

Google + Local
Google + Local
Relevance is all about how well your business listing matches a user's search term. In most cases the more complete and accurate a business listing is the easier it is for Google to properly understand your business and return its listing in the search results. Also, the more relevant your business is to the search term the more relevant it is to the searcher which is more likely to provide a quality experience that the search engines want and get you the click. The second factor is distance. Local searches are by definition bound to a geographic location and Google uses what it knows about where a searcher is physically located including location terms in the search query.

It then attempts to return the most relevant result based on listings in that specific area. In many cases larger metropolitan areas are divided into smaller parts so you'll need to consider how you choose to list your business in Google+ Local. For example, cities like Newark, Jersey City, and Elizabeth are all considered part of a broader New York metro area but if you lived in any of those places you wouldn't be searching for a business using New York in your search query. As a business owner you want to think about how locals will be typing in their queries and mimic that as best you can.

If you have multiple locations you should create separate listings for each, to maximize your exposure on the search results and make sure that your closest location is the one that the user sees. Finally, the prominence of the listing has an effect on how well it will rank. Prominence is a measure of how well-known your business is across the web and much like regular content pages it looks for evidence around the web that others are talking about you. Things like links, reviews, articles, blogs, directory listings, and any other mentions about your business are all considered and generally the more positive these mentions of your business are, the better.

To maximize your chances of ranking well in local search results, just remember these three things: make sure that your listing is as complete, accurate and relevant to your local searches as possible. Make sure that you define your distance from searchers by defining the exact area or areas that your business serves. And just like you do with your general SEO strategy work on building your brand, customer relationships, and loyalty to earn prominence around the web.

Steve Steinberger

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Semantic Web

The value of the semantic web

Search engines have come a long way in past 20 years. You might have noticed that search is starting to change a little bit. If you do a search on Google for “Apple Pie”  you will see a lot of results there. Most of which look like recipes. Its pretty clear that you could click on any of these and I'd go to a page that would produce a recipe.

You will start to notice that there are highlighted results. The highlighted results might have a rating. You will see the star rating that's there? They have a certain number of reviews. They have an amount of time that it will take to make the recipe and even the calorie count. Why do those results look different relative to all other result on the page? Well, its because the site owners (web designer/developer) marked up their contents (semantic web) in a very well defined way that's known to Google. Google knew that these are recipes with ratings and time and calorie counts. So it included all of that information in the search results.

If you did another Google search for the band “Shinedown” you would get results for Shinedown. With this search you'll notice that the serach has come back with some music tracks underneath the band’s name. We have information about the band Shinedown and we also have some tracks that play snippets of their music.

semantic web
The value of the semantic web
Based on the type of information that's being displayed we can make sure that the displayed content is marked up in such a way that Google can read and display it accordingly. This is done through semantic markup in HTML5. When we talk about semantic markup we talk about markup that has meaning rather than markup defining the presentation or the look of the website. Semantics then takes on two complimentary approaches. One is to look at the mark up used in plain old HTML5.

In HTML-5 we can look at the tags that have meaning behind them like, headers, footers, articles, asides and more. You can also look at links and their relationships which are also very important for semantics. 

The second approach is the standardized way of presenting a certain type of content online. Events, recipes, people, places, these are all common information on the web. Through the use of micro data or RDFa lite you can add some additional HTML5 attributes to your markup to standardize the way this information is presented. 

By doing so you help the search engines understand your content in a new way that will help in your effects to get your content indexed. The more you help the search engines understand your content the better your page rankings.

Steve Steinberger

Friday, June 13, 2014

Ecommerce Content

Ecommerce Content

Creating content for ecommerce sites serves a number of different purposes. First, it needs to be attractive to the search engines so that people will find your pages. But once you've got people on your pages the content needs to be effective not only in encouraging people to buy your products but also in getting them so excited that they want to share your content with other people through links and social media. It's one thing to simply describe a product but people are a little more complex than that. Marketing 101 says we don't sell products and services, we sell solutions to people's problems.

So make sure to describe more than just the product. Describe how the product is actually used and take opportunities through photos, videos, animations and step-by-step diagrams to really show your customers how this thing works and how it will solve the problem that they are having. 

This is something your competition is probably not doing a great job of and it will give you an angle on some very unique content that will stand out to both search engines and website visitors. You also need to remember that your visitors are aware that if they buy something from you, you stand to benefit.

If you go into the electronics store and the salesperson who is on commission recommends the most expensive camera. You know that it's because they'll make the most money if you buy that one. But on the web, we have the option of reading through reviews from people just like us who are at that same crossroads and ended up making the decision to purchase this product. They're going to tell us what they think about that decision and they're not getting any commission. As consumers we tend to trust these reviews and displaying product reviews or service testimonials is a great way to help people understand the value of your products through other people's experiences.

Don't forget to include additional product recommendations. If your ecommerce software has this built in make sure you're leveraging it. And if not, take a look at the many product recommendation engines out there on the market. As people browse certain products you can recommend other similar products that people tend to buy that have great reviews or that match other criteria. This can be a great option for cross-sells as well. If someone puts that camera in their shopping cart, you can suggest that they get some lenses, a carrying case, and an extra battery as well.

Taking the time to create comprehensive and unique product pages that help users solve their problems. Reassure them through other people's experiences and help them through the conversion funnel. This will benefit you not only in your sales, but also in the search engine visibility.

Steve Steinberger

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Social Media Promotion

Promoting your content with social media

Social media can be a great way to let the world know that your content is out there, and can even be a great source of referral traffic. Social media is still pretty new and many businesses have jumped into it without really knowing how to use it effectively. The first thing you'll need to do if you want to leverage social media to help get your content out there is to make sure that your company has a presence on at least the top social media networks. We're talking about the ones with the largest number of active users, Twitter Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest.

Social Media Promotion
Social Media Promotion |  Promoting your content with social media
Every one of these networks is a chance to get your content in front of more eyeballs, attract more links and encourage more sharing. Once you've established a presence on these networks you will want to make sure that they are integrated on the pages that host the content you're creating. Lots of companies maintain a blog with an RSS feed, because it's a great way to get the word out to qualified visitors. They're actively subscribing to your content. You can do a similar thing with social media by placing the various share buttons on your pages, and these allow users to quickly pass on content they've found useful to their own networks.

That said you'll want to choose your social share buttons carefully. You will want to pick the ones that your audiences are active on. If you've got a strong presence on Twitter and Google+, make sure you put the Twitter and Google+ buttons on your pages. If you're trying to grow your Facebook or LinkedIn following placing those buttons there might be a good idea as well. But if you don't have a MySpace or Orkut page and you don't target users of those social networks you may want to leave those off and make it simpler for your consumer base to make their selection. A great way to add share buttons is through a service called Sharethis offers a free sharing platform. Simply create an account and chose the social icons where you would like your content shared. Its an easy way to promote share of your content.  You can see an example on this page (  ) of our main website.

Keep in mind also that many of these Share buttons are configurable. For example, you could optimize the default tweet to include your Twitter username to encourage recipients of that tweet to follow you. On Facebook you can control which image thumbnails to use as a default. As you build and grow your presence on social networks you'll find topics that you relate to that are guiding conversations in the social sphere. On Twitter and Google+, hashtags are commonly used to tag certain conversations and people that are interested in those topics can choose to listen to tweets or posts that contain specific hashtags.

You can find existing hashtags by searching keywords on Twitter about your industry or by following influencers who tweet regularly and seeing which hashtags they use. For example, the Web Analytics community uses the hashtag #measure in their tweets. Many of the experts converse and share interesting content with one another using this hashtag. So if you're creating content that fits the bill you can use that hashtag to get your content in front of a very specific group of people. Remember though, this is a self- regulating community. Your content must be useful and valuable to that group and if it is you'll be rewarded with further shares and retweets.

A good thing to do when planning your content strategy is to identify how you plan to share that content across your social network once it's been pushed live. Which networks will it go out on, what will the message say, what hashtags will it use, who is going to do it, who is going to monitor and respond to the activity and keep the conversations going? These are all questions to keep in mind with each piece of content that you publish. The popular social media outlets of today are not likely to remain constant forever. Remember, Friendster, MySpace? How about Netscape and AOL? In this industry companies rise and fall faster than ever before and you'll need to keep an eye on the networks that matter for your audience and respond to them accordingly.

Whichever networks you choose, and however you choose to leverage them spending the time to get the word out about the content that you've worked so hard to create will be well worth the effort.

Steve Steinberger

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Being invisible is only good if you’re a super hero…

Social Bookmarking vs … Social Networking vs … Social Sharing

Buying social bookmarks and twitter followers isn’t working to help increase site ranking like yesteryear. However, spreading your site across a variety of social mediums can help your site authority as well as gain natural traffic. Since social media has become a vital part of today’s information sharing, creating pages across multiple platforms can boost outreach to all corners of the web.
Social Bookmarking vs … Social Networking vs … Social Sharing
Being invisible is only good if you’re a super hero…
For everyone else you can count on 
Social Bookmarking
The term “social bookmarking” refers to the method of organization and storage of resources by internet users. Through these social bookmarking platforms files are not shared, just the bookmarks that reference them. A common form of social bookmarking would be a program that allows users to save specific links to web pages that they want to go back to or share with others. Popular social bookmarking sites of today include StumbleUpon, Digg, and Delicious.
As one of the most popular social bookmarking sites, StumbleUpon is a rather simple idea that has exploded in usage over the past two years. As long as you have the toolbar installed on your computer, you can submit any site to the StumbleUpon database. There is no way to submit directly from the website without the toolbar. Pages submitted on to StumbleUpon get classified to certain categories and potentially can reach thousands of people. If your site does particularly well amongst the interest group it enters and if it receives many likes, it will spread across other interests and be seen even more. Submitting your sites to StumbleUpon will give you the opportunity to be seen, liked and shared at no cost to you.
Although Digg’s influence has slightly fallen off recently, the links received are still powerful. By consistently submitting your content to Digg, you might strike gold and end up on the homepage. By making several accounts and giving your site some “Diggs,” its authority will slowly aggregate and you have an opportunity to get your page off the ground and in to the eyes and computer screens of many other internet users.
Not nearly as large as it once was, Delicious still claims several million users globally and is one of the early social bookmarking sites. Operating off of a categorical submission system Delicious is extremely easy to submit to. Similarly with Digg, your site (if popular enough) has the opportunity to make the “hotlist” on the site’s homepage, which can help drive natural traffic back to your site. Although its popularity has not seen much increase in recent years, Delicious is still one of the bigger social bookmarking sites currently in use on the web. Since all bookmarks posted to Delicious are publicly viewable, posting pages of your site to it can engage Google to crawl it faster and more often.
Social Networking sites have become the most widely used form of website on the internet and have become an integral part in how people manage their social lives. Social networks like Facebook infiltrate all age groups and have slowly become a preferred form of communication amongst most people. The scope and reach of social networking sites is so ginormous it allows certain things to spread virally through millions of people in a matter of minutes. News of a catastrophic incident can spread out from the source and into the eyes of millions within the first 30 minutes. Capitalizing on this extreme connectivity will help your site rank higher in Google and Yahoo as well as drive real interested people to your site. The most popular social networking sites today include Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.
The crème de la crème of modern social networking is Facebook. Facebook dominates the networking world with an active user base of nearly 1 Billion people. This number is staggering when you think that nearly one-seventh of the people alive on the earth use this single website to manage their social lives. The creation of “social shares” on Facebook allow websites or any other information, picture, media, etc., to be spread easily on a large scale around the web. By posting the Share Button API on your site, visitors can share your pages around the web giving you natural backlinks at no cost to you. Even beyond the links you gain from this, the shares you get from visitors will help direct traffic to your site you otherwise would go without.
Quite a bit different from Facebook and Google Plus, Twitter’s style of social networking focuses more on the quick relaying of information between people. Google admits to using data collected from tweets. There is sort of a twist in how to manipulate Twitter for your SEO needs. Google only counts re-tweets from powerful followers in their ranking process. This means that in order to make use of Twitter for SEO purposes, you must have genuinely interesting things to say or a loyal group of powerful followers in order to make a difference. The potential for increasing site rank is definitely there. By gaining even a small amount of social recognition through re-tweets about your site you will always have a flow of new visitors just based on the amount of people each individual re-tweet reaches.
Google+, for SEO purposes there is a lot of valuable stuff to gain from using this site. There slightly new approach to social networking puts your friends, family, work buddies, etc., in different “circles” to which you can share things. It’s like having a file cabinet with everyone you know perfectly organized neatly in to little manila folders. As in all other social sites gaining some recognition and following through Google+ would obviously be helpful. This site is a Google’s property. That being said the data contracted from this site will be skewed in importance compared to competitor’s sites. Google+ will auto-ping your domain helping you get indexed faster and rise in the rankings quicker. Google values this data very highly so creating Google+ pages will definitely help you out in your quest for a higher rank.
These sites are a sort of a new breed in the overall social networking world and have potential for more site rank than most people think. These should not be passed over in the SEO process. Social sharing sites take the link sharing of social bookmarking and the social outreach of social networks and join them together in the search engine optimization treasure chest everyone in the SEO industry searches for. The most popular social sharing sites surging in use as of now include  Reddit, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.
One of the pickiest and most selective social sharing websites on the web, Reddit has around 35 million users and receives around 1.8 billion monthly page views. The large scale of this site is perfect for releasing links to your site’s pages. However, the community of “Redditors” are notoriously picky in what they want to see or read about. The moderators of the site as well as the whole community is very keen on picking out spam so try to keep all of your content natural.
The official launch was towards the end of 2010. Instagram is a free photo sharing program that allows for users to take photos, apply digital filters and share the image on an array of social networking sites. The app really started to gain popularity in the beginning of the 2011 and has only grown out to a larger audience since then. With a count of approximately 60 million users worldwide, Instagram’s most significant potential lies in the massive outreach it has among all different social platforms.
All good SEO’s know this and use Pinterest to virally seed content and gain strong backlinks as well as traffic to their site. Pinterest’s format acts as a virtual bulletin board, as users can “pin” interesting content to their own pages. The viral potential of Pinterest makes it a necessary site to use for optimizing your site. Google has figured out how to detect spam re-pins of content so in order to make use of the power of Pinterest try to gain good natural re-pins. The easiest way to do this is to create infographics about things either related to your site or stuff you can host on your site.
Pinterest is a game changer in the SEO world if you know how to properly utilize its sharing potential. Pinterest is great even if you only get a few re-pins as the authority you gain will be worth it in the long run.
Perhaps one of the most widely used sites on the web Youtube houses billions of unique videos. Many of which reach large audiences quickly. Like Google+, Youtube is a Google property and they surely use the data gained from Youtube when ranking sites. Youtube has potential to spread your specific product or website if the videos are original and interesting. Although it might be hard to create videos for a site any webmaster should look in to the benefits of using Youtube to gain traffic and links.
Social media dominates the global communication and information share of today’s society. The world we all live in now is so intertwined with the internet and social networks that in order for your site business or company to thrive you need to be well represented on all platforms of the social sphere. By joining the social you can boost your site’s crawl rate and index time allowing your site to be indexed faster by Google and begin the ranking climb you are looking for. They also provide organic traffic whether you believe it or not. There is no doubt about it—social media sites will give you an edge in search engine optimizing.

Steve Steinberger