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Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010)

Participating in social media communities


From:

Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010)

with Jill Whalen

Video: Participating in social media communities

Participating in the various online communities that you find is a bit of tricky balancing act. While we all want to promote our businesses and websites, you can't or at least shouldn't go into these communities with that goal. In fact, I would suggest that it's better to stay out of them altogether unless you are fully committed to being a good community member. As a forum owner myself for many years, every day I see people coming into our forum for no other reason than to try to gain links or to self promote.
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  1. 1m 33s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      29s
  2. 6m 20s
    1. Understanding how search engines work
      3m 50s
    2. What is SEO?
      2m 30s
  3. 25m 3s
    1. Introducing keyword phrases
      1m 21s
    2. The keyword research process
      4m 42s
    3. Performing keyword research
      4m 43s
    4. Winnowing out ineffective keyword phrases
      1m 58s
    5. Performing additional keyword research
      2m 44s
    6. Determining competitiveness of keyword phrases
      5m 42s
    7. Finding keyword gems
      3m 53s
  4. 12m 49s
    1. What site architecture means to SEO
      2m 1s
    2. Brainstorming main categories and subcategories for the web site
      4m 4s
    3. Creating a keyword phrase-to-page map
      3m 33s
    4. Using keywords in domain names and URLs
      3m 11s
  5. 18m 10s
    1. SEO in HTML tags
      1m 57s
    2. Title tags
      1m 56s
    3. Meta descriptions
      1m 33s
    4. Header tags
      1m 12s
    5. Anchor text
      1m 43s
    6. Alt tags
      1m 36s
    7. Writing effective title tags
      4m 42s
    8. Writing meta-description tags
      3m 31s
  6. 11m 44s
    1. What good content is and why it's needed
      1m 27s
    2. The different types of content pages
      3m 47s
    3. Using keywords in existing content
      1m 53s
    4. Writing new content for users and search engines
      4m 37s
  7. 16m 37s
    1. Understanding link popularity and why it's important
      2m 43s
    2. Introducing Google's PageRank
      2m 38s
    3. Knowing the best way to get links
      3m 12s
    4. Content creation and promotion as "link bait"
      3m 34s
    5. Real-world link bait ideas
      4m 30s
  8. 12m 7s
    1. Introducing social media marketing
      4m 3s
    2. Getting started with social media marketing
      2m 25s
    3. Participating in social media communities
      5m 39s
  9. 26m 31s
    1. Why rankings are a poor measure of success
      3m 13s
    2. Determining conversions and setting up goals in Google Analytics
      5m 37s
    3. Measuring search engine traffic
      11m 5s
    4. Measuring success beyond the search engines
      6m 36s
  10. 9m 19s
    1. Reviewing top techniques for SEO success
      1m 58s
    2. Additional resources
      4m 19s
    3. The future of SEO
      3m 2s

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Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010)
2h 20m Beginner Mar 31, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In SEO: Search Engine Optimization Getting Started, author Jill Whalen explains the importance of site rankings and why search engine optimization is necessary for increasing web site traffic. The course covers choosing the best keywords, performing keyword research, augmenting keywords with search-friendly site architecture, creating social media networking strategies, and measuring the success of an SEO campaign.

Topics include:
  • Understanding how search engines work
  • Researching and selecting keywords
  • Adding keywords to web pages, URLs, and HTML markup
  • Writing web page content based on selected keywords
  • Link building
  • Social media marketing without spamming
  • Setting up Google Analytics to track conversions
  • Measuring search engine traffic
Subjects:
Business Online Marketing Web SEO
Author:
Jill Whalen

Participating in social media communities

Participating in the various online communities that you find is a bit of tricky balancing act. While we all want to promote our businesses and websites, you can't or at least shouldn't go into these communities with that goal. In fact, I would suggest that it's better to stay out of them altogether unless you are fully committed to being a good community member. As a forum owner myself for many years, every day I see people coming into our forum for no other reason than to try to gain links or to self promote.

Most good forums can spot this behavior from a mile away and won't allow it. That said, there can be benefits to participating for real in online communities. Just like offline networking can provide you with business connections, so can online networking. I've personally made many business friendships and partnerships by participating in online communities. So, let's look at some of the dos and don'ts of participating in online social media. Most forums and some blogs and other types of social media communities have specific rules or guidelines posted about proper netiquette and use of their service.

In order to register, you are typically supposed to read these. I highly suggest that you do because they're often very strict guidelines when it comes to self-promotion and dropping links in your posts. This is because due to the fact that Google put so much emphasis on links within their ranking formula, online marketers have abused social media communities for their own benefit. The admins of these communities can easily spot those communities spammers and will ban them fairly quickly. For instance, if you're a new member of the community and your first post or two you go in and start telling everyone how great your website or product or service is and especially if you add a link to it, there is a good chance your post will be deleted or worse, ridiculed. Plus your account could be terminated.

While most social media communities allow you to create a profile and/or add a signature that appears next to your name when you post a comment, these days most of them will have what's called a nofollow attribute on any links that you may place there. The nofollow attribute is a signal to Google that the link is not a typical vote for the site, like links that a site owner may place themselves, which means that Google may not give it as much or any rating in terms of link popularity. Google says they don't count these links at all but that's not necessarily the whole truth.

At any way, the takeaway here is that while you may be able to add link and even get people to click through and visit your website, just understand that these links may or may not help your link popularity, which is okay. It's still good marketing. Be sure that you very carefully review what people are already talking about within the social media communities that you join. This will give you a good sense of how you might fit in and start participating. Are they talking about things that you're interested in and knowledgeable about? Are they part of your target market? What's their community culture like? Are they polite to each other or are discussions heated and/or nasty? Neither is necessarily better than the other, but some people aren't cut out to be part of a community that gets nasty.

If you thick skin and don't mind some heated debate, you may be fine but if you don't you may want to stay out of the controversial topics. Post and comments within most social media communities will have many asking questions about the topic at hand. This is where you may be able to start participating. Look for questions that have gone unanswered or have been partially answered and select your knowledgeable muscles by answering them. If you are brand-new to a forum, do be careful of stepping on the well-established members toes.

In other words, don't try to show them up or make them look dumb. But if there is a place you can help, feel free to step in and do so. When you do this, you also want to be 100% sure you've got the right answer. All of your efforts will be for nothing if you go in and start providing wrong or bad advice to people. You can be sure that the other members of the community will let you know this very quickly. If you are not prepared to start answering others' questions yet or even if you are, another way of participating in social media communities is to ask your own questions.

You can do this via existing threads that has some aspect you are unsure about or just feel there could be further discussion, or if the community is such that allows new posts, you can start a new topic with some questions you have on the subject at hand. The caveat here is if you're supposed to be an expert on something, you want to be careful of going in and asking some basic question that someone of your ability should know. But there is nothing wrong with asking advanced questions or just asking for further clarification on other peoples' posts. This is a good way to start to establishing rapport with the other community members.

The bottom line to your participation is to have fun and make some online friends with people who might be interested in what your company offers, or even just to be able to recommend you to others who might be. But you do have to be careful of getting lost in social media. In other words, having too much fun that you participate a little bit too much. It's very easy for social media to be a total time suck and keep you away from other work that you may need to accomplish. Not everyone is comfortable or wants to participate in online communities. If you don't have the time or inclination to be a true participant, then perhaps you can see if there is someone else in your company who is better suited for the task.

There seems to be two kinds of people in the world, those that enjoy communicating with others online and those that don't. Oftentimes, you can even hire an intern who has been participating in social networks for years in their own personal endeavors who will be happy to become part of the community on your behalf if it's not your cup of tea.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010).


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Q: In the “Determining competitiveness of keyword phrases” tutorial in the SEO: Search Engine Optimization Getting Started course, the author details the use of the “allintitle” advanced search operator in Google.  While the operator works in the example given in the tutorial, Google will not allow usage of the “allintitle” operator for more than two keywords at a time.  Is there any workaround to this problem?
A: Google’s policy on the “allintitle” operator has become a major problem in trying to do some competitive keyword research. There is a workaround, although it makes searching slower. Follow these steps:
1) Click on Google's Advanced Search link, then add the desired keyword phrase to the Find web pages that have... "this exact wording or phrase." Then click the "+Date, usage rights, numeric range, and more" link.
2) In the "Where your keywords show up:" dropdown menu, change "anywhere on page" to "in the title of the page."
This should allow the use of the “allintitle” search without Google thinking the user is a robot. To do the next one more quickly, just hit the back button of the browser and change to the next keyword phrase.


Q: Allintitle searches on Google seem to yield wildly inconsistent results. How does the author handle such inconsistent data when looking for good keywords? Are these results a recent phenomenon? Can can allintitle searches still be used reliably?
A: Unfortunately, Google has recently made it difficult to do the allintitle searches. It is still useful to a certain extent, but only because there currently isn’t anything better out there to judge the competition of a site.
Q: As a result of Google changing the "select previous interface" function, the methods in used for the Keyword Tool in the tutorials no longer work. Is there a method that can be used with the new keyword search tool that will produce the same results as shown in the training course?
A: Unfortunately, Google switched to the new Keyword Tool and also removed many keywords that aren't "commercially viable" from the database, so the methods in this title will not work exactly as described. You can still change from broad match to exact, but it is, unfortunately, harder to find. Right now, there does not appear to be a more effective way to do keyword research. Unfortunately, the other vendors that provide keyword research tools for a monthly fee are no better than Google's free one. The best advice for now would be to not focus too much on the keywords and just pick those that seem to be the most relevant for your site.
Q: Google AdWords looks different on my Mac than it does in these tutorials. Can you help me find the option for "How would you like to generate keyword ideas" (either  "descriptive words or phrases" vs. "website content") that you show in the video on using the Keyword Tool?
A: The Keyword Tool has changed slightly in appearance since this course was published, but the functionality is essentially the same. Under the "Find keywords, Based on one or more of the following", you can choose to enter keywords, have them restricted to suggestions based on a certain website, or even based on a category, such as Apparel. You can use one or more of these options.
Q: Where can I learn more about internet marketing?
A: Discover more on this topic by visiting internet marketing on lynda.com.
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