Friday, December 8, 2017

What Exactly is a Troll?


Many people have a very mistaken idea about what an internet troll is. Often they call anybody who posts a contrary or opposing view a "troll."

Wrong.

Trolls post inflammatory remarks with the sole purpose of angering people and disrupting a conversation. They tend to hammer their opinion relentlessly.

Often, their first comment will seem civil, and just mildly know-it-all. But when you express yourself and say something the troll disagrees with, all hell suddenly breaks loose.

Anyone who tries to correct a troll,or share an idea that contradicts what the troll said, will get F bombs and words like "idiot", and filthy language insults. Personal attacks prove without a doubt that a troll is present.

Nobody "wins" a discussion that is attempting to clarify or discover truth. Each side learns a little, even if their opinion doesn't change. It's good to listen to opposition.

If nothing else is gained, you at least get better at understanding a different point of view and at advancing your own perspective. If all you do is hang around with those who always agree with you, you're going to be dumbed down and unfit to debate an opponent -- and not even realize what is happening to you.

Sometimes you may read a post and feel the viewpoint is missing a vital angle or some pertinent information. So you post a comment, politely and non-combatively, that conveys your understanding of an issue.

If some thin-skinned, intolerant, arrogant person then jumps in and accuses you of "trolling", just post a link to an article that documents and verifies your remark. Be nice, intelligent, and calm about it.

Often however, this won't solve much, because people don't like to appear wrong or misinformed. Few individuals are really open minded and fair about issues that are close to their heart.

But lurkers who stay out of the argument may appreciate your link and may learn something, even if they don't click Like on your comment.

Remember, trolls are defined by their attitude. Simply posting a contrary view is not trolling. Trolls are hateful troublemakers who enjoy stirring up hurt feelings and confusion.

I train CEOs and business managers in how to deal with negative comments and trolls. I've developed tactics and strategies that have proven to be very effective.

Need help with online reputation management or trolls? Contact me.



Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How Google Disfavors Bad Websites






Many business people don't understand how Google keeps targeting certain aspects of websites that are mediocre or anti-user.

It's good for you to know what Google is persecuting.

You can't attract more customers to your website, and generate more sales, if Google thinks your website sucks.

When Google wages war against deceptive claims, aggressive ads, sparse content, keyword spamming, and black hat tricks, your website better not have these issues.

Such Google algorithm updates as Panda content assessment, Mobilegeddon, Intrusive Interstitial penalty, Penguin 4.0 bad link devaluation, RankBrain artificial intelligence, or AdWords Shakeup -- each of these changes in Google search can have a big impact on how your website ranks in search results pages.

Google has an algorithm running all the time called Above The Fold (ATF).

The ATF algorithm can impact rankings when ads or other elements push your main content down the page.

Google’s John Mueller has explained that ATF doesn’t need a refresh. It is working all the time. So as Google crawls your site and identifies ads (or other elements) pushing down your main content, your site can be negatively impacted.

Google will disfavor any website that has obstructions to customers in their pursuit of information.

This is because Google wants its search results to please and help customers. Google wants to identify the best websites for answering customer questions.

If your website has poor usability, badly written text, non-optimized images, mediocre design, confusing architecture, slim content, incomplete explanations, technical terms not defined, annoying ads popping up, vague category heads and subheads, or other problems, Google will not consider your website to be a good place for customers to visit.

SEO involves major enhancements to your website content, so that both Google and your customers will be happy. What's good for Google is good for your customers -- and good for your website to implement.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

On Page SEO Improves Text Content



If there was one basic fundamental guide to empowering a website with SEO, without diving into HTML code, what would it be?

"Is this website answering all the questions that customers typically ask, or could conceivably ask?"

This "on page SEO" (Search Engine Optimization) focuses on enhancing your website's content, making sure that it's based on customer needs and questions. Think about that for a moment.

Does your website provide well-written text that (1) identifies the customer problem, in their language (not corporate talk) and (2) explains in interesting detail how your product solves that problem, from every possible angle and niche interest?

FAQ style question and answer format is something from Web 1.0 that everybody understands. It's the preferred SEO way to present website content.

It's in line with how customers do internet searches for information about problems, solutions, and products that provide these solutions. FAQ info pleases search engines and they'll more likely send customers to your website because of its relevance.

Rather than tell a bland story about quality products, low prices, and great service (like everybody else is shouting) -- your website should contain expert responses, in friendly language, to customer fears, desires, and confusions.

Which means you've got to know your customers better than your competitors do, and thus can talk to them more effectively.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Test Your Website for SEO - and attract more customers



Test Your Website's SEO

Does your website need SEO? How can you tell?

Search engine optimization empowers your website to attract customers.

Many websites have no SEO implemented, or poorly implemented, so the websites just sit there on the web, accomplishing nothing.

Your visibility as a business includes search engine results page ranking. How well is your website doing when customers do Google searches on keywords related to your business?

Simple Test to Check Your Website SEO:

(1) Enter into Google some key words that pertain to your business.

For example, if you're a dentist, you'd want to enter such phrases as dental implants, teeth whitening, family dentist, affordable dental work, pain free dentist, dentures, tooth extraction, wisdom teeth, baby teeth, teeth grinding, mouth guards, etc.

These are typical terms that people use in Google search when they're looking for answers, services, or products to solve a problem.

Thus, your website needs a good amount of text defining and explaining these terms. Google will look for the best match of website content that's relevant to such topics. If you have nothing, or perhaps just a sentence or two, in your website on a specific issue, your website needs more content.

(2) For each keyword or phrase, look at the search results. Does your website appear in the first few pages? Does it appear at all?

Done. You now know how much SEO power your website has. If people can't find your website when doing internet searches, your business is in serious trouble.

See those business that are appearing on the first 3 pages of Google? Those are your competitors -- and they're using SEO to steal customers away from you.

Rank Higher in Search Results


There are many SEO factors involved in how highly a website ranks in search results.

HTML page titles, meta descriptions, H tag headers, robots protocols, AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) validation, Schema dot org code are some of the website code structure that needs to be correct.

If a website has longevity, it's been online for many years, Google will tend to favor it. When other reputable, prestigious, helpful websites link to yours, that's going to boost your rankings in search results.

In addition, SEO is impacted by various aspects of content, including such things as:

nice visual appearance, well written text using naturally occurring keywords, FAQ style answers to common questions, product comparison guide, strong calls to action on every page, captions under photos, interesting About page, and proper use of headlines and subheads.

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CONTACT ME for SEO help.


If your website is failing in SEO, not showing up in search results, and not generating sales for your business, let's talk about it.

I've provided Google-compliant, ROI oriented SEO and social media marketing for local banks, hospitals, manufacturers, agriculture, accounting firms, law offices, dentists, grocery stores, tourism, historical organizations, chambers of commerce, and many other types of business.

There could be some very simple, quick, and affordable ways to fix what's wrong and get your business back on track for strong competitive advantages that rival firms won't be able to copy.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

20 Tips for Facebook Business Page Marketing



I enjoy managing Facebook Business Pages for my clients. I won't share all my secrets, for I have developed some effective strategies and methodologies that are unique.

But here are 20 basic, effective ideas on marketing a business on Facebook.

(1) Set up a Facebook Business Page and be sure to provide all the information required (About, Hours of Operation, Street Address, Contact Info, etc.).

(2) Use a cover photo (that goes across the top of the page) that shows your building or your product solving a problem for a customer, or something that's relevant and dramatic.

(3) Consider putting your business name, slogan, and phone number and street address (or email address) on the cover photo. This makes your cover photo an ad that everybody sees.

(4) Make sure your cover photo looks good in a variety of devices, especially mobile. You can find mobile device simulators online that will provide renderings of any webpage on many different devices and screen sizes.

(5) Use a profile photo of the CEO, owner, or manager to personalize the business and make it more human, less remote from customers.

(6) Use the Call To Action button in way that's appropriate to your business (make a reservation, book a room, etc.).

(7) On your About page, be sure to differentiate your business from competitors. Give a brief explanation of what your business is and what makes it special, plus what products or services you provide to what kind of customers.

(8) Post photos of CEO, owner, store manager, especially when they're interacting with customers or engaged in community service projects.

(9) Post photos of products, from various angles, by themselves and also products solving problems or meeting needs of customers.

(10) Post photos of your building, so people can have a mental image of it when they drive to your physical location. This will help them find you.

(11) If you have a physical location, tell customers about landmarks that are nearby, or the intersection, or what neighborhood your business is located in. Don't just tell them the address, which may not mean much if a customer isn't familiar with that street.

(12) Post videos of product in action, customers (with their permission) enjoying a product, tours of your facility, company events, employees happy at work, etc.

Hubspot says: "The 2017 State of Inbound report cited video as the “main disruptor,” with 24% of marketers naming it as a top priority.

“Watch video” is one of the CTAs that Facebook allows brands to add to their Pages for a reason -- because it’s becoming one of the most popular ways to consume content."

(13) Post links to news articles relevant to your business, to your industry, and to the needs and problems your customers have.

This is something almost no business does, so it's an easy way to stand out from the competition and give customers content that's interesting and helpful.

(14) Post answers to questions that customers typically ask.

(15) Post definitions of technical terms and other things that will educate your customers.

(16) DO NOT post relentless self-promotions. This makes you seem like a pushy, hard sell salesman that everybody hates. Post a nice variety of content that is not necessarily self-serving, but that gives customers good information.

(17) Post text and video tutorials about how to use your products.

(18) Post explanations of what each product's purpose is and how it achieves it, with product comparisons to help customers decide which model is best for their needs.

(19) ENGAGE with all comments. NEVER ignore remarks they make. DO NOT delete embarrassing questions, angry complaints, or tough criticisms.

Negative comments are your golden opportunity to shine, to take the high road and show how kind, understanding, and professional you are.

(20) Figure out the best timing and frequency of posting.

Generally, it's good to post from about 8 AM to 11 PM, with a focus on lunch time (when people can take a break from work and check out Facebook notifications) and a little past dinner time (around 6 PM).

My general rule of thumb is I post on behalf of my clients about every 2 to 4 hours, every single day, except Sunday.

You may think that's a lot, but if you have really good, interesting things to post, people will appreciate it and gain benefit from your postings.

Post too often -- and people may feel you're desperate or even spamming them. You'll look obnoxious and troublesome.

Post infrequently -- and people may think you have no enthusiasm for your business or no expertise in marketing. You'll look very unprofessional and boring.

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Follow these simple guidelines and you'll be WAY ahead of your competition, I guarantee it.

Sound overwhelming? Too busy to deal with it?

I manage Facebook business page marketing for a very reasonable rate, with professional social media marketing expertise that is unmatched in the Peoria area.

Contact me today.

steven.streight@gmail.com

Monday, November 6, 2017

SEO Mistakes Made by Local Businesses



Google provides good advice on how to implement SEO on your website.

There's at least one web design company in Peoria I know of that often uses "black hat SEO", i.e. techniques to try to trick Google into thinking a website is relevant to customers.

By using these unethical techniques, a website might rise high in search results temporarily, but will suddenly drop in rankings, and may be penalized or even banned by Google.

As a business owner, CEO, or marketing manager, you should get to know what works, and what doesn't work, in SEO.

The biggest mistakes I see local businesses of Peoria, IL make on their websites are:

(1) not enough keyword-rich text that answers customer questions in an FAQ type presentation

(2) "we-oriented" text that blabbers on and on about the company, without really addressing customer needs or problems

(3) not providing photos or videos of the product in use solving a customer's problem

(4) poorly composed meta tags, especially meta description

(5) poorly implemented H (header) tags

(6) not mobile-optimized.

Here are Google Webmaster's preliminary remarks on SEO.

QUOTE

Avoid the following techniques:

* Automatically generated content
* Participating in link farm schemes
* Creating pages with little or no original content
* Cloaking
* Sneaky redirects
* Hidden text or links
* Doorway pages
* Scraped content
* Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value
* Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
* Creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware
* Abusing rich snippets markup
* Sending automated queries to Google

END QUOTE

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Need help with driving more customers to your website, via Google-compliant SEO?

I can provide this assistance to you, like I've done for Peoria area banks, accounting firms, law offices, hospitals, dentists, restaurants, book shops, tourism boards, chambers of commerce, manufacturers, grocery stores, and other types of business.

Contact me today.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Stop Playing Facebook Games and Quizzes



Games and quizzes on Facebook are often big trouble, and not just for innocent entertainment.

Many people I personally know have had their Facebook accounts hacked due to participating in them. Worse things could also happen.

Facebook games and quizzes often ask for extreme permissions, like access to your account and friends list, and ability to post on your behalf.

If a game or quiz has malicious intent, they can start spamming all your friends and they'll think it's coming from you. Other more criminal intentions can also be involved.

http://technology.inquirer.net/59686/hackers-using-fb-quizzes-harvest-personal-data-report