Often, the first step one takes to optimize one’s website for the search engines involves keyword research.
To be honest, though, you should perform that keyword research BEFORE you do SEO – in fact, you should probably do it before you even build your website! Keep reading to find out why.
Keywords as Seeds
Think about keywords as you would think about the seeds you use to grow your garden. You may start by thinking about what you’d like to grow, but before you even buy the seeds, you’d research what kinds of plants grow well in your area.
For example, I like certain homegrown tomatoes, but if I lived further south I wouldn’t dream of growing them except under specifically controlled conditions; South Florida suffers from a serious nematode problem. Which is a pity, because you’d figure the climate is perfect otherwise…well, as long as you keep in mind that the growing season is different because it gets too hot in the summer for tomatoes to do well. (Big surprise to those of you further north, yes?). And don’t even get me started on the soil consistency…
Now before I take this metaphor too much further, let me explain what I’m trying to point out: if you don’t do your research, you could end up with some really unpleasant surprises. You might want to use a keyword that gets a lot of traffic, but also has a lot of competition. You might want to use one particular keyword for your product, but find that your customers use a totally different word for the same thing.
Or you could get some pleasant surprises… like the time I grew a tomato plant and had it last for more than two years, when I’d heard that one usually must replant every year. Not in Florida, apparently, or at least not with that particular plant! But you’re not going to know unless you do the research.
Research is Everything
You wouldn’t even begin to create a full-scale garden without researching your plants, and you shouldn’t even begin to create a full-scale website without doing your keyword research. Just like the plants, keywords are the key elements to your website; it’s what the site is all about. Yes, I know, it’s all about content and giving a good experience to the user (and helping you conduct your business, of course), but your content grows from the categories you choose, and those categories are your keywords.
Keywords are like tomatoes; raw or cooked, you can use them in everything. And plenty of people do. This luscious red fruit happily goes into salads, pizza, stews, soups, chili, on burgers (as both tomato slices and ketchup), pasta sauce, and so much more. If you do keyword research right, think about intent, how you can organize and cluster them, keywords can help you build navigation, titles, descriptions, content and blog posts.
But of course, you still need tools for your garden to grow. And depending on your area (or platform), you should pick appropriate tools, be it WordPress plugins or standalone web based apps. Your best bet is to go for a robust all-in-one solution that could tackle a lot of aspects of research and marketing your keywords. Cyfe is one example because, with its multiple widgets, it handle research, tracking, organizing, and expanding your keyword lists:
Your keywords help you market your website; they tell everyone what your website is all about. And by "everyone," I mean the search engines, your visitors, your writers, your suppliers, those who create your product or service, and even you. And that’s why you should get that research done BEFORE you build your website. Because if you don’t, you might find yourself fighting to grow tomatoes in July in South Florida in soil that’s full of nematodes. Good luck!
Invite a Community WriterIn any city there will be local, independent publications that are aimed at the local community. They do editorials, comment on city news and do reviews. It is the last that you want to go for. Invite one of the review writers from these publications out for a sample of what you have to offer, on the house. If you are a restaurant for example offer them a comped meal for them and a guest. If you sell a product offer one to them for free. If you own a retail store ask them to come by and check it out and offer them a free item of their choice to test the wares. Generally these publications are both online and in print, so you will be getting the word out along with a followable link from the digital source.
Sponsor a Local PodcastPodcasts are becoming more popular than ever, and often locals will have their own. You can get in on the fun by sponsoring them. If you don’t have enough money for a sponsorship, try something a little more simple. Give them some free goods. Send over some food from your kitchens. Give them some discounts or free items. Ask them to try your service. You will get a link on their website, a mention on any social media, and perhaps a vocal mention on their show. Here are lots of local podcasts to get an idea.
Get Listed in High-Quality Local DirectoriesAnd I don’t mean in thosounds of them. Local directories are still being used by people trying to discover more places to visit and more companies to check out. To evaluate if being listed is worth it, check the directories traffic. If your links are going to be clicked, these are good links. A couple of examples:here and a full google maps marketing guide.
Write For Locals, But Aim For National AttentionLocal pieces are picked up by national news agencies all the time. They are originally meant for these small communities, but others outside of it take interest because of the issues that arise as a result. This is often referred to as “controversy baiting”, as the easiest way is to use controversy to get a large local paper’s eye, where it then moves onto a national publication. This is done more readily with online posts, as there isn’t as much of a space consideration that makes human interest stories easy to cut. Download a checklist here to get your local blog popular within your area and beyond.
Create Some VideosThere was a local pizza parlour that was trying to attract more attention, as they were in a strip mall with no visibility to the busy street in front of it and had a limited ad budget. Their solution was to create a video campaign for YouTube and their social media pages. They told local high schoolers that they could get a free pizza for shooting and uploading a silly video with a link back to their website. It was a massive success, led to thousands of new social media likes and a ton of links that brought direct traffic.
Win a Local ContestThe Chamber of Commerce does annual contests in a number of categories open only to local businesses. Some local papers, television stations and blogs also have these competitions. You can do a seach and find anything that is nearby that you can nominate your business for. Winning one of these contests is great for high quality links from authoritative sources.
Offer Your Business as a Meetup SpaceHave you ever heard of Meetup.com? It is a very popular meetup website that allows people to create their own groups and host get-togethers in any possible category. You can go through and find meetups already established and offer your business as a place where they can have these meetups. It is a great way to get people into your shop and also gives links through Meetup and social media.
Host Weekly EventsYou don’t have to house other people’s events. You can create your own. A nearby cafe has several events every week that caters to its main audience (those involved in the geek subculture). Holding your own events is great for posting on Meetup.com, CraigsList, social media sites and newspaper boards where others are looking for something to do.
Get Local Influencer Aware Of Your BrandThere are plenty of influencers who are around you. They have highly active social media pages, regularly comment on Yelp and other review sites and have blogs. You can get in touch with them and build a relationship, letting them promote the brand for you. Do you have any other ideas on how you can build links as a local business? Let us know in the comments!
Writing a ebook is no easy task, requiring that lots of time, effort and inspiration, but there is no better feeling than wrapping up your own epic story and preparing it for the rest of the world to read and enjoy.
When it comes to delivering your ebook in ebook format, you’ll find yourself with many options to promote and distribute it; the Internet puts the world at your fingertips if only you know how to tackle and leverage it.
Thankfully for all of the ebook writers out there, social media brings people together and provides the tools that you need to easily get the word about your work out to the masses, helping you to generate interest, fans, and, ultimately, sales.
Here are five easy ways to promote your ebook using social media:
1. Create Informative, Compelling Profiles
Once you’ve determined the networks that you want to tackle, with the giants like Facebook and Twitter almost certainly among them, the first step in introducing your ebook to the world is to create informative profiles that not only help readers to quickly and easily understand what your story is about and what it has to offer them, but also contain the kind of tidbits that make your ebook truly compelling.
The method for achieving this will vary depending on the profile; for example, Twitter allows you a very limited amount of room to describe yourself and your product, while Facebook gives you much more freedom and space. With that in mind, you’ll need to work with what you’re presented with as you create your profiles, always finding that delicate informational balance that will create the interest that you need to inspire sales.
2. Be Active, Stay Active
With informative profiles online and new fans beginning to find and follow you, the time has come to focus on the true purpose of social media: engaging with real, live people.
To this end, take a few minutes each day to add content to your pages, answer questions, involve yourself on other similar pages, and generally present yourself as a living, breather author instead of a mere ebook-selling robot.
The truth is, you’ll be surprised at just how little effort it takes to draw people into your web of imagination. One of the most prevalent myths about social media marketing, whether for an ebook or any other product or service, is that it takes copious amounts of time to stay engaged enough to make good things happen, but that simply isn’t true. A little effort goes a long way, and your fans and followers will appreciate every minute of it.
3. Find Influencers to Help Get the Word Out
Influencer marketing is the fastest way to see the actual results. Get just one influential Twitter user tweet out your book offer: And you’ll see dozens of leads coming in within just a few seconds.
Influencers may add the powerful social media context to your book and your brand and get you those needed leads and publicity.
The trick is engaging those influencers.
Ego-bait is one of the most efficient ways to attract those influencers. You can go as far as getting those influencers contribute to your eBook to later engage them in promoting it.
You can also use influencer connection platforms like Tomoson to find influential users across many social media platforms. Tomoson supports
You can specify a minimum number of followers required to make an offer for your project. It saves time and really helps you find your core influencers to start with:
4. Add Multimedia to Your Bag of Tricks
As a writer, it’s likely that you enjoy and relate to words more than any other informational medium, but don’t let that perfectly reasonable prejudice allow you to overlook the power of multimedia to catch attention and drive clicks on the web.
By its very nature, social media platforms tend to present information in small, easily digestible packages, beckoning users to follow through with a click if they want to learn more. With millions of these packages floating around at any given time, though, it can be very easy to have your particular message get lost in the mix.
In order to draw even more attention to yourself and your masterpiece, consider leveraging multimedia like unique artwork, related photography, and trailer videos to help to capture the attention of your social media visitors.
Here’s a huge collection of visual marketing tools to use to create and market your images.
5. Continue to Engage Your Fans and Followers
Even once you’ve got well-aged profiles online, full of content and teaming with new followers, the trick to continued success is to continue to personally engage and contribute every single day.
Besides giving your ebook the dedication it deserves after months spent writing, maintaining a well-liked social media presence will also set you up for future success as you continue to forge your writing career.
And there is a sequel coming… isn’t there?