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Week 14 of 52 – Three essential tips to get your social media buzzing!

Social Media BuzzDoes anyone else get a real buzz when they see their posts shared around on Facebook or their tweets re-tweeted? What about when that post share or re-tweet comes from a highly respected member of your industry? That buzz can be enough to push you onto bigger and better things with your social media presence.

Through my Facebook and Twitter accounts, I’ve managed to engage with people throughout the world in all manner of industries that I otherwise couldn’t have “talked” too. I’ve had a brief conversation with Brad Sugars (CEO of ActionCoach), received responses from Gary Vaynerchuk (CEO of Social Media company Vaynermedia) and corresponded with marketing guru, Timbo Reid from Small Business Big Marketing. Of course, these conversations haven’t been personal  or even very long but the engagement through social media can greatly benefit a brand.

Regardless of how it happens, once your social media presence starts to attract the attention of people in your industry, two things can happen. One, you will start to recognise the power of social media marketing and what it can do for your business. And two, the buzz behind it can  inspire you to delve deeper into the possibilities of these platforms and expand that “audience” of yours even further.

To kickstart a dormant Social Media plan into action, I’ve put together the following tips:

Never Ever Give UpPersevere to build traction.

I’m sure everyone has seen a version of the poster on the left. This could never be truer than with your social media marketing. If you want to build a following using Facebook, Twitter or any of the platforms, never ever give up! Just log on, get in and start using all the tools at your disposal! Try the following:

  • Load up Tweetdeck or hootsuite on your computer so that you can access your feeds as easy as possible.
  • Be sure to pass on any valuable industry-relevant information that you come across. Include the name of the original writer or poster.
  • Announce your blog posts and content updates on all the platforms that you have access to.

Create a Social Media Checklist.

If you are like me and love to work from a list that you can tick off, create a Social Media checklist and laminate it. Put it somewhere clearly visible in your workspace and check off the items as you use your various platforms each week. By having this on hand at all times, it’ll ensure that you are getting your brand out there on a regular basis.

Close the gap between David and Goliath.

Search for and follow as many KPI’s * as you can find. When key figures pop-up in other people’s posts and tweets – make sure you snap them up and follow them! Re-post and re-tweet their content and information when it is relevent. Use their brand to help build yours. Show your followers that you have your finger on the pulse of your industry.

Don’t be afraid to engage with these people in conversations – at the end of the day, they are just business people like you (but probably making a lot more money). Send them messages and add their personal hash tags whenever you mention them or their work on Twitter. If you are respectful and pass on content that is worthwhile, you will get their attention (and maybe that of their followers).

Conclusion

These three simple points should get you going along the road to Social Media success. If you need more, there are literally thousands of ways to build an online presence – just try a simple Google search on that topic.  The key to social media success is always going to be perseverance – just keep trying different avenues along the road and your brand’s audience will continue to grow.

If you or your business have had success with other ways to build a following via Social Media, please share them in the comments section below. All tricks and tips will be gratefully received!

*KPI = Key Person of Influence

Week 13 of 52 – Tired of being a needle in the haystack? SEO that you can do TODAY!

Help search engines to index your siteWith a title like that, I have to be upfront with you about this topic. Nothing you do today will be immediately effective in turns of search engine response. The three tips below will undoubtedly improve the SEO performance of your website but the effects won’t be seen until the search engine minions (known as bots) crawl through your site again and react to the juicy goodness we are about to leave for them. Once they have had taste of them, they will report back to their home base – “This site deserves more respect!”

To get that respect, it’s not overly hard to take action. The tips below don’t require you to be a rocket scientist (or even a web developer) but they will make a difference to the “findability” of your site.

Make sure your page is loading at full speed

Without going into too much detail, page loading speed has always been important to Google. The faster a page loads for them, the happier they are with your site. And the happier Google are with your site, the higher ranking they will give you. Can’t get any simpler than that!

From a marketing standpoint, a fast loading page is always a good idea anyway. With advent of faster internet, people just don’t have the patience to stick around anymore. Research has shown that if the content isn’t starting to be delivered within two seconds, visitors will click that back button and go somewhere else.

Tools to help with your page speed:

  • In-depth analysis of the speed of your pages can be done here.
  • If your site is built on the WordPress framework, installing the W3 Total Cache plug-in is a must to increase site speed.

Make sure all your content is optimised for SEO

This is a topic that I could write about all day. There are so many elements to SEO optimisation and I continuously come back to them in these posts. But in the interest of keeping things to the point, I can’t break it down any better than this brilliant checklist from Salesforce.

Tools to help with optimising your content for SEO:

  • WordPress users can’t go past All-In-One SEO or Yoast SEO.
  • Not a tool as such but utilise a company that specialises in SEO optimisation to help get your content hitting those elements every time.

Make it easy to share your content

If you think you are making great content and want people to share it, make sure that you make as easy as possible to do so. The geeks over at Google love their social media and it goes to reason that that a strong social media presence now correlates with good rankings in Google’s index.

Tools to help share your content through Social Media:

  • The Digg Digg plug-in for WordPress places a floating bar next to your content with every social media option you could ask for.
  • Hootsuite is a brilliant way to post onto and keep track of all your social media from one dashboard.

If you implement the tools and tips above but you’re still hungry for more SEO action, check out Google’s own informative site on exactly how they use their secret algorithm to rank your page. For real beginners, BlankPoint also has a great site with the “ins and outs” of SEO broken down into layman’s terms.

If you have any internet marketing, WordPress, website design or SEO questions, leave them in the comment section below and I’ll try to answer them in a future post. I love a bit of feedback so all other comments are welcome too.

Enough blogging for today – get in there and give that site of yours an SEO boost. Go and grab that market share that you know it deserves!

Week 12 of 52 – Why on earth would you name a business “Rusty Mango”?

Choosing a Business NameWhenever I first mention Rusty Mango Design to a new customer, I always get asked – “where does the name Rusty Mango come from?” It’s actually a great conversation started but the story behind it is quite simple. When I first looked into starting my own business as a web designer, I looked for inspiration in all sorts of places – radio, tv, print and online.

Back in March 2006, we had a major cyclone here in Innisfail so I thought WebStorm Design would be a great name. But you’ve got to be quick in this game, Webstorm was already taken. Outside of that idea, I could have gone with a local easy option and called the business Cassowary Coast Web Design. But if the truth be known, I don’t like the cassowaries very much. I don’t wish them any harm but at the end of the day, it is a clumsy, scary, unattractive bird, not something I want to align my business with.

Scouring the net as I tend to do (much to my wife’s chagrin), I came across an internet service provider called Blue Sky Frog. This name really grabbed me, I’m not sure why but maybe because it is totally memorable and easy to brand. This got me thinking – where was this sort of name for my business? At some point in time, while pondering this, I must have looked out the window of my home office to the backyard and saw our large mango tree, half the size it was before Cyclone Larry. It’s never producing any edible fruit but every year, it buds and starts to grow little mangoes. These mangoes grow to quite a size but invariably they turn a rusty brown colour before dropping straight off tree.

Hmmmm – rusty mangoes. I wonder if I can use that….

Rusty Mango Design was born.

It took me quite a few months to reach this point because I’ve always believed that a business name is not something that can be taken lightly. True – the brand behind the name is far more important but a good business name is what makes that all important first impression.

According to Alyssa Gregory from the About Money website http://sbinformation.about.com/od/startingabusiness/a/Business-Name-Styles.htm, modern business names can be broken in to five distinct categories:

  • Different Names (Rusty Mango Design)
  • Mainstream Names (Engine Guard)
  • Name Based Names (Roscoes Piazza)
  • Obvious Names (Innisfail Optical)
  • Trendy Names (Intrust Energy).

Finding a name that fits one of those categories is quite easy to do but that’s only the first step. You’ve got to be aware that your business name is not just about you. It’s about the interaction that name will have with your customers and the feelings it will invoke. Try to consider the following when creating a new name:

  • Make sure that you choose a name that appeals to the type of customer you want to attract.
  • Allow your name to connect with your customers on an emotional level by selecting a name that bring up pleasant memories for them (hmmm – mangoes…..).
  • Stay away from names that are long or confusing.
  • Definitely do not use the words INC or PTY LTD after your name unless you are entitled to do so.

Does having a great business name mean that your business will be a complete world beater? No – there’s far more to it than a fancy name. But a good name can be built into a great brand with the correct efforts and intentions behind it.

If you already have a great business name, get in touch with Rusty Mango Design to start building a brand behind that name with a great web site – call today on 0488 406 050.

Image © Depositphotos | zestmarina

Week 11 of 52 – What’s the hold up? Why your website development might be sloooowwwww….

Where is my website?As a whole, I must confess that I have a pretty awesome list of clients. Occasionally, I may strike one that I just can’t see eye to eye with but generally we can work well together and create sites that are functional and look good. Sometimes however, there can be issues that fracture that client relationship and we both need to work a little harder to see the job through to the end.

One of the main problems in the development of a site can be the timeline from when a client accepts the quote to the actual upload of the final website. Invariably, as with any project, there can be issues that can slow down the whole process and hold things up. And if you are “chomping at the bit” to get that site online, it can sometimes feel like your designer is dragging their feet. But it often comes down to issues that are out of their control.

To give potential site owners an idea of the problems that can pop up from time to time, let’s take a look at some of the “little” issues that can hold up the release of a website.

Domain Name Issues

If you have already purchased a domain name and are transferring it over to the technical control of your designer, there are a number of steps to be followed, all of which can hold things up. Some of these can take up to 48 hours to take effect even after they have been implemented.

Even once the required changes to the settings behind a domain name, it can still take another couple of days for those changes to “bounce” around the web and become official.

ARRRGGHHHH for all parties involved – drives me nuts sometimes!

Server Hold-ups

I won’t list company names in this section but if you were using my services, it would be my job as your developer to steer you right away from some of the largest web server providers in Australia. From past experience, I can guarantee that the biggest holdups in site development can be caused by these providers.

Some are so fernickety about their servers that, even after a customer has purchased server space; they cannot make any changes online with submitting a customer service ticket. These often take up to a week to get any action taken and some even demand that the customer must give a reason for the change (What? – it’s my server space – I have paid for it!!!)

If some of these guys need to be contact via phone, you will always be routed through the Philippines or India. Not a great situation when you need something done straight away.

Google

Once a site is complete, some customers hold the false notion that it will automatically appear on Google. Unfortunately, sites need to be submitted / indexed by Google before they will appear on the search results. Although there are tricks to expedite this delay (I have a nifty trick…) – in the end, it is completely out of your developer’s hands and into the realm of the Google Gods…..

On-Site Issues

Another hold-up in the completion of a new site is the creation of the content for the site. This generally will not be done by your web developer and some customers have not read the fine print to find this out.

If you don’t want to write your content or you feel that you can’t produce the quality you want, get in a touch with a copywriter. They can take dot points for each page and create fully written paragraphs for placement on your site.

 

Despite the potential for the issues above to arise, the road to a website is more often than not smooth-sailing if you have the right web developer “on the job.” They will be able to foresee the problems above and build waiting time for various parts of the process into the overall plan.

How do you find this developer I hear you ask? Quite simple really, just ask around. Find some sites in your local area that have been well designed and contact those business owners for the details. You can check client testimonials on various site too but take these with a grain of salt, no developer will ever post negative comments on their own services for the general public to see.

If you have any questions about the issues above or you want to talk to someone who navigates these murky waters on a regular basis, give the team at Rusty Mango Design a call on 0488 406 050 – we’d be glad to help.

Image © DepositPhotos | VGeorgiev

Rusty Mango Design

Rusty Mango Design