How to Start a YouTube Channel for Your Business

YouTube, the Google-owned video network, is about more than funny videos and attempting to improve SEO signals. The network is a great way to connect to and engage with people in your audience, since it has more than a billion users. That's more than 33% of everyone on the entire internet. Every day, people are watching millions of hours of content. Considering that on mobile alone, YouTube reaches more people between the ages of 18 and 49 than any cable network in the US, it's a great place for small businesses to be. Except, less than 10% of American small…

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What to Look for in a Social Media Manager

If you've decided it's time to hire a social media manager, not just any person will do. It's tempting to ask someone who's already working for you to take over the responsibilities for you, but that isn't a good idea. You'll likely overwhelm them with work, especially because social media management is more complex than scheduling a bunch of posts to share across social media platforms. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), social media "specialists" are part of public relations. Other possible job titles include: online community manager, digital engagement specialist, and social media strategist. In…

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A Timeline of Facebook’s Acquisitions

Facebook got its start in 2004 when founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg started "The Facebook" as a way for Harvard University students to connect. Eventually, the social network expanded to other colleges in Boston, all Ivy league schools, and then to all universities in the United States. In August 2005, it became Facebook.com; then high schools were allowed to sign up, then globally universities were allowed to sign up – and in 2006, anyone could join as long as they had an email address. Features have continued to develop since 2007 – as many of the acquisitions in this list…

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Time Saving Tricks for Social Media Managers

While most people use social media to chit chat with friends, share funny memes, take quizzes, and kill time, it's literally your job. And because there are so many clients, and so many platforms – metrics to check, content to curate, comments to respond to, posts to schedule, images to create, and a community to moderate, it seems impossible to get everything done in eight hours a day. While I can't promise these tips will help you regain a massive amount of time, they will at least help you make more efficient use of your time, allowing you to accomplish…

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7 Content Marketing Hacks to Help B2B Marketers

When it comes to B2B, content marketing is an entirely different beast than for the B2C market. Of course, the purpose remains the same – you want to create content that draws in a bigger audience for your business, content that strengthens your brand, and ultimately increases your leads and sales. The only thing that makes it different is it is content made by businesses, for businesses; it is not the typical consumer-facing content. As such, the content absolutely must be useful above all else. Can it be humorous and entertaining, too? Yes, of course, but without utility, it's worthless.…

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A Timeline of All of Google’s Acquisitions Since 2001

Google got its start in 1995 when founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page met. The following year, they started working on a search engine called BackRub, but once it clogged Stanford University servers after a year, they registered Google.com on September 15th, 1997. Let's take a look at how the most used search engine on the internet has grown into something much more. Since launch, the tech giant has acquired more than 200 companies.  

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Does Web Hosting Influence SEO?

Web hosting is an integral piece of the online business and marketing puzzle. Without it, you don't have a way to get your website online. But, because it gives your website a place to live on the internet, it may have a small impact on your search engine rankings. Does that mean you should choose your web host solely with SEO impact in mind? Not really. Let's take a look at why and how your web host may affect your rankings, and what you should think about when you choose the web host for your website. Types of Web Hosting…

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Twitter Hack: Creating RSS Feeds from Twitter Activity

Most people know how to search Twitter to find a profile or a hashtag, but thanks to more advanced features, it's possible to get a great deal more data from the social media platform. In this guide, you'll learn how to use advanced search features to zero in on information you can use to improve your marketing and social customer service.  I'm going to show you how to go beyond simply saving a Twitter search to turning your Twitter feeds into an RSS feed so you can stay on top of everything with ease.   What Can You Turn into…

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The One-Two Punch That Will Help You Master SEO in 2017

Let’s get one thing out of the way: despite what trendy social media experts might have you believe, social media marketing is not the new SEO. Search Engine Optimization and social media marketing exist on two different ends of the spectrum, with very little overlap. Social media marketing is all about, well, being social. It’s about injecting humanity into your business, finding a way to connect with your audience and creating an environment on social media that encourages them to become a loyal community. SEO is... none of those things. Granted, they both share the same end goal (turning a…

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How to Use Hashtags to Enhance Your Brand

Hashtags (#hashtags) are an important part of how people communicate online. They are also a critical part of online marketing, as they allow you to organize content and track discussions across social media based on the hashtag or keywords. The hashtag first beginning with Twitter in 2007 as a way to group tweets. it has since spread to other social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. You cannot use spaces in hashtags so even when your hashtag contains more than one word, group them all together. If you want to make it easier to read, you can…

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Why Backing Up Your Social Media Content is Crucial

You should be backing up your social media and blog content on your local machine and somewhere on the cloud. You never know when the server that hosts your content may go down, resulting in the loss of your content, or a temporary delay in the delivery of that content. You also may run into a situation where a platform where you have been contributing content gets old, shut down, or change his policies to where content is no longer accepted. This has happened with several platforms, such as Wired's Innovation Insights, Yahoo! Voices (formerly Associated Content), and Engadget's Public…

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How Not Disavowing Links Harms Your SEO Strategy

Thanks to changes across the SEO industry over the last couple of years, online marketers have had to make some major changes to their strategies. It is becoming increasingly difficult to rank high in Google for competitive keywords. Because black hat SEO is becoming more difficult to execute and less likely to deliver results, marketers have turned to an option known as negative SEO. This uses unethical technique to sabotage the competition's ranking in search engines. Negative SEO may involve building spammy links to your website, creating fake social media profiles to damage your online reputation, removing the best backlinks…

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Are Your Ads Killing Your SEO?

Many online businesses monetize their websites using display ads – either through a network like AdSense, or by selling ads directly. One of the first banner ads online belonged to AT&T, and was first displayed in October 1994. Logically, it makes sense that if you have a decent amount of traffic, you should make it work for you with ads. And while you certainly can, it's a bit more complex nowadays than it used to be. It's no longer as simple as throwing up ads wherever you want on your website. If you're not properly implementing ads, you could dramatically…

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How to Use Social Media to Build Trust With Potential Customers

Social media is often full of "noise" from brands and personal connections alike. The environment is cluttered simply because everyone wants to be on social media to connect with people. But, as we all know, simply having a profile on a social media network isn't enough to make the platform work for you – and trying to be everywhere just doesn't work. Trust is a critical component of building a customer base, and is absolutely necessary for customer retention. It's also quite a daunting task, and it can be hard to know where to start. So, let's start with the…

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14 Types of Evergreen Content to Include in Your Strategy

Evergreen content is timeless. This post itself, is an example of evergreen content. Even though it's originally being posted to the blog in 2017, the information within the post will be relevant and useful to my audience for years to come. And, if changes in the industry mean some of the information becomes outdated, I can easily make edits to the post to keep it up to date. Evergreen content is well optimized for keywords related to your niche or industry. It isn't related to current news or trends. These have their place in online content, of course, but anything…

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A Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Google Search Console

Once known as Google Webmaster Tools, the product was renamed in May 2015, to better represent its wider audience of users. Originally intended to help webmasters get a better view of what's going on with a website, the resource provided valuable to other internet professionals, such as SEOs, designers, and marketing pros, thus the rebrand. The Google Search Console is a free service that provides a great deal of information about your website and the people visiting it – but it's not the same thing as Google Analytics. If you want to know how to make it work for you…

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Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Own Podcast

Podcasting is a type of online audio broadcasting. You record an audio file, usually MP3, then upload it online for people to stream and listen to. Alternatively, people can download the file and listen at their own convenience. The term "podcast" is a hybrid of iPod and broadcasting, since most people listened to the files on their iPods (or other MP3 players.) Research shows podcast listening grew 23% between 2015 and 2016. Nearly a quarter of Americans age 12 and and up have listened to at least one podcast in the last month, representing a 17% increase from 2015. That…

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Do You Really Need to Switch Your Website to HTTPS?

There's been some recent buzz about switching your website from the standard HTTP to the more secure HTTPS. While many large websites, especially those in the e-commerce sector have been using it for years, Google announced it as a lightweight ranking signal back in 2014. That means it didn't affect much, in fact, it only affected fewer than 1% of global queries. However, they said in that announcement they wanted to give webmasters time to make the switch over to HTTPS because they may strengthen the weight of the signal. They're making this move to boost internet safety in the…

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How to Make User Generated Content Work for You

User generated content, or UGC, refers to any kind of content created by users of a product or service. Most people think of reviews when it comes to UGC, but it encompasses everything from photos, blogs, videos, audio, tweets, forum posts, and more. You can use this content on your social media channels to promote your business. What's the first thing you do when you're considering an online purchase? If you're anything like me, and I bet you are, you search for reviews. You want to know what other people think of the product or service – regardless of whether…

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16 of the Best Tips and Tricks to Hack Your Business Growth

Growth hacking is a different approach to marketing. It focuses on scalability. As your marketing efforts are designed to bring in more customers to grow your business, you can continue to put more into marketing while serving the growing customer base. Instead of traditional marketing, it focuses on using a series of shortcuts to drive growth. It's about creativity and finding underserved ways to market your business. Take for instance the way Airbnb engineers developed a way to post their listings to Craigslist (a site that at the time had way more traffic, thus getting them exposure) even though there…

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Using WordPress? Here’s an SEO Checklist for You

All kinds of things go into how Google and other search engines rank your website compared to your competition. Though no one really knows exactly how the algorithm works, we know there are many factors they consider, ranging from the cleanliness of the code itself, to keywords, time spent on site, age of the domain, and more. Some factors have more bearing on the rank than others, of course – and that's why SEO is such a complicated science. WordPress is a wildly popular content management system that's user-friendly, too. If you're using it to manage your website, here are…

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Native Advertising: Why It Works And Why You Should Do it Now

Native advertising is paid content that's made to match the look and feel of the website it's presented on, so it looks more like organic content. It encompasses many content formats, ranging from articles to infographics and videos. This type of content appears to provide value to the audience, but the end goal to sell a product or service remains the same. Native ad spend is expected to reach $21 billion by 2018, up from $4.7 billion in 2013. Native advertising is part of content marketing, and the strategy helps increase your content distribution and reach.   How Native Advertising…

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Should You Incorporate a Chatbot in Your Social Media Strategy?

Facebook Messenger is a separate application that allows users, both personal and business, to send messages back and forth without using the original Facebook application. Many businesses are adding it to their marketing strategy simply because more than 1 billion people have adopted the platform as their primary communication channel. It's not just the people who have downloaded the app but the number of people who regularly use the platform to talk to their friends, family, and business connections. Mark Zuckerberg announced bots for the messenger platform back in April 2016 which allows businesses to build custom bots to form…

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The Complete Guide on How to Optimize Video for SEO

When you think of online videos, what's the first thing you think of? YouTube, right? While it may be the most popular video distribution platform, that's not to say it's the only option. And while YouTube could easily be considered the second most popular option behind Google, if it were a search engine anyway, there's more to video than throwing it up on YouTube and hoping for the best. With a bit of work, you can make a real impact on your ranking.   Define Your Goals Before You Start To provide a decent return on investment, your videos must…

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Tips for Creating Cohesive Branding for your business

Creating a cohesive brand identity is deceptively complex. On the surface, it may appear to be as simple as hiring someone to create an eye-catching logo and engaging content that can then be distributed to consumers. In reality, the process of creating effective branding begins with deep introspection about the core values the brand represents and an examination of the ideal client they are trying to reach. From there, it is possible to identify the colors, fonts, stylistic elements, and types of imagery that will best represent the brand and resonate with the customer.   Core Values One of the…

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