The flight of a…

The flight of an eagle is both powerful and graceful. I cannot help but admire this wonderful creation of the Most High!

Watch Your Business Grow With Social Media SEO Strategies

GUEST ARTICLE – By Yasir Khan.

Every business that has its presence online has implemented or is implementing Search Engine Optimization strategies for their website. While doing so, most website and blog owners concentrate most of their efforts on building backlinks for their website / blog, thus diverting very little or no focus on other important SEO tools.

Most website / blog owners who rely on traditional SEO strategies and those who are new to the game tend to neglect the impact that social media has on search rankings. However, one cannot afford to do so because SEO today is rooted in Social Media.

Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing turn to Facebook likes and shares, Twitter re-tweets and Google Plus +1s to determine how powerful your social presence is and accordingly assign a rank to you on the search results page. Therefore, a social media presence is healthy, important and essential for success in business.

The New Generation of Search Engine Optimization

The traditional SEO tactics are still very much in use today. Although tactics like keyword focus, target key phrases and link building cannot be completely done away with, they are used in integration with Social Media today.

For example, SEO consultants state that one should make use of keywords when they share content on social networking sites and when people like this content and share it with others, this action leads to mentions about your website, thus creating backlinks to your website.

Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ allow you to keep your customers updated about your services and products, upgrades and new features added to your business. You can also easily communicate with them through these social platforms and ask for their views about your business.

New social media sites like Pinterest bring on a new perspective. Pinterest allows you to share specific images with the online world. A picture is worth a thousand words, and who says that a single image on Pinterest that is captivating enough cannot garner 1000 followers?
Social Networking and Search Engine Optimization

We’ve already established that social networking and search engine optimization go hand in hand. It is nearly impossible for your online business marketing campaign to achieve success without the effective use of social SEO strategies.

Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram and StumbleUpon will help you get your content out there, create an exposure for your business and your website, generate backlinks of high quality, increase website traffic, and give you a higher page rank, thus deeming your SEO strategy a successful one.

Here are 5 tips to help you use Social Media to Enhance SEO:

1. Strategically plan your online business goals so that you know what your input demands and accordingly expect the output.
2. Create a page on every possible social media outlet.
3. Create original and interesting content such as articles, images and infographics and upload them to your social profiles that people will feel compelled to share.
4. Reach and communicate with your target audience and customers.
5. Analyze the effectiveness of your social media SEO strategies on a regular basis.

Using social media in integration with SEO will help you and your business reach the top and stay at the top. And when you are among the top rankers, it automatically drives traffic to your website, possibly converting your website visitors into customers for a lifetime.

With social Media SEO strategies, you can watch your business grow.

 

The contributor of this guest post, Yasir Khan, is the founder of Quantum SEO Labs. Click to view what Quantum SEO Labs offers you to help your business grow with customized SEO strategies

Simple ‘Writes’ that keep you close to your clients

I love writing, and normally I expect other writers to love and enjoy it like I do! After all, how can you be a writer and not love writing? That would be weird, right? Well, I have slowly discovered that writing often doesn’t come easy for most people, including even those who profess to be writers. It takes a while to perfect the task or even get used to a regular writing schedule.

There are some things, though, that we must all learn to write no matter whether we enjoy writing as a task or not. They are very important things that tend to add value to what we are doing regardless of the field in which we operate. I would like to call them ‘little writes’ as they usually require very little time and are very short in length. But VERY IMPORTANT! We use them everywhere, everyday, in every sector; they need just a little bit of extra care in wording and style to produce the right effect.

However, the thing that I want to emphasize is that they are valuable as items that communicate volumes to both potential and existing clients. They are small tokens which, when used in the right manner and at the right time, can produce priceless benefits for your relationships with clients. I am referring to welcome notes, thank you notes and acknowledgements.

Welcome Note:
One of the things I am learning about doing business online and maintaining a community of followers is that although people have a very short attention span and move quickly over the net, most still appreciate a personal touch when it comes. For instance when someone likes my Facebook page I usually make a point of sending them a message of welcome to my page. This is because I value every single follower whether they end up taking up my services or not; they are a potential client right from the start.

You can do this not only for Facebook pages but also for email lists on your website or blog. You can also add a welcome note to the home page of your site. It makes you appear more visitor-friendly.

People love to be recognized and appreciated so learn to do it often. Make sure to keep it simple and short – a greeting, describe what your page or blog is all about in one sentence, and appreciate the fact that they have come to you. Then make an offer for them to call or email if they need your product or service. That’s all.

Thank You Note:

This is one of the most precious things in a relationship – saying thank you in written form. Writing is visual, enabling a lasting impact in the mind of the reader/recipient. Saying thank you in speech is not the same as writing it out in rich language using beautiful note-paper. Ok, the paper doesn’t have to be all that fancy, but you get my point. Remember that two people can do the same thing but one of them stands out simply because of the way it is done, so make sure you write something fresh, something unique, something memorable. Exercise your writing skill to the fullest!

Address the recipient by name and make sure to mention what it is you appreciate or like or value about that person or about what they did. Again, be short and simple. Remember that a note and a letter are two very different things, so don’t turn into a letter!

 

Acknowledgements:

A very important thing about communication (actually a very basic thing) is the ability to respond to a letter, an email, a request, an inquiry or outstanding service in the shortest time possible. Now, I know these are probably the busiest times we have ever lived in and sometimes it takes long for things to be attended to. However, you can choose to stand out from the pack and be one of the few people who make sure to acknowledge receipt of an inquiry, request, letter or email so that the person who sent it does not feel unattended to.

Acknowledgements should be written immediately before you move onto something else and forget. Make sure to thank the person for taking the time to contact you. If you are not in a position to give a concrete response to the need, then at least let them know you are working on it and give a time period within which they are likely to get their need sorted out.

 

Okay, those are what I call ‘little writes’. They are essential and small in size but large in impact. I hope you have been writing them and will continue to do so. If not, it’s never too late to start!

 

 

Why do you write: for self or for publicity?

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” 

Cyril Connolly (1903 – 1974)

This is a quote I heard at the tail end of an episode on Criminal Minds – it was a fitting epilogue of what had just taken place, given that the criminal in question had been leaving strange writings on the bodies of his victims.

That line set me thinking, why do writers write? What is the real motivation behind the endless hours of typing and researching and compiling and editing? Perhaps it is to satisfy the ego or a deep inner need in our lives. Or perhaps it is for others to know that we can write, or for them to read our books, magazines and articles for pure entertainment or for knowledge sake.

The quote above gave me food for thought though. What would be more important to you when you write, your self or the public?

Let me know what you think…

Feel free to share this post as often as you want on facebook, twitter, or your blog.

Have a great weekend!

How to Write A Product Description For Your Online Shop: Five Simple Steps

website ideas

Photo credit: Sean MacEntee

Short, attention-grabbing articles tend to do very well on the web; they allow the reader to get what you are saying in a small amount of time, which is a very precious commodity on the web. Many people do not know how to do that – explain something using few words in a manner that is clear and concise. Product Descriptions require exactly that.

A product description is simply a very short article that talks about a specific item, gadget, equipment, service, or commodity. Normally between 100 and 150 words, a product description not only educates potential customers on the value and use of the item; it also serves as a marketing tool when keywords are used in it. This is a very important tool for businesses, especially small businesses and start-ups.

If you have an online store for the things you sell, consider writing product descriptions for each class of items in your shop. Make it short, concise and use simple language. Target the kind of customers that normally visit your store, or the ones you want to attract to your site. Include 2 – 3 of the keywords you use for your site in order to attract web traffic. This is very important because you want to extract maximum value out of that short description.

Number 1: Picture in your mind the kind of customer you wish to attract. Think of the general sector, e.g. young, educated, salaried professional. Think of a particular person who fits that exact description and prepare to write for him/her.

Number 2: Write down what you want to say about your product/service, exactly the way you want to say it. Choose your words carefully and direct them at the person you have pictured. Your aim is to convince them that what you are offering has value plus superior quality.

Number 3: Insert two to three keywords for your site. This will help drive relevant traffic to your site. Put one in the title of the article, one in the main body and the last one in the final paragraph. Make sure they are not forced into the sentences; they should flow naturally with what you are saying.

Number 4: Define your Call To Action, that is, what do you want that customer to do about your product? Do you want them to buy it or ask for more information? Do you want them to click on the cart or to investigate what else you have to offer? Do you want them to write a review about it? The answer to these questions will determine how you word your Call To Action. Include that as the last paragraph of your article.

call to action

call to action (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Number 5: Insert the article on your landing page or sales page, whichever one serves the purpose of attracting the attention of visitors or would-be customers. Make sure the font is easily readable. Feel free to highlight key text like the name of the product for example.

Remember, you can get a lot of mileage for your site from writing product descriptions. Never under-estimate the power of words, no matter how few!

Your Writing Talent Is An Asset

Robert Kiyosaki, author of the famous book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, talks about the importance of building more assets than liabilities if one wants to be successful in business and life. In business terms, assets are simply items that bring in or increase income and thus have a positive impact on wealth. The synonyms for the word ‘asset’ give us a broader understanding as they include benefit, advantage, plus, positive feature, quality, skill and talent. Does that sound like your writing skill?

When I was younger, about eight or nine years old, my older sisters asked me what I would like to be when I grew up. My instinctive and completely sincere answer was, “a writer!” At that age I already knew about a few writers like Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie (my all-time favorite fiction writer) and I definitely admired them. I was totally in awe of the art of writing, and I still am.

Writing is a golden-edged gift that brings pleasure to both owner and audience. Most writers enjoy their work as much as the world loves to read their writing. It is also a tool of communication that has been effective over many centuries and will continue to be, regardless of how much the medium used changes. More than that, however, I see the writing skill as an asset that should be guarded well, developed continuously, used for the good of society and converted into income if need be.

There are so many ways in which writing can be used to increase your personal wealth. I will not go into the details of how to make money from your writing skill here – many other blogs do that. I just want you to place a lot more value on your talent than you have done before and see it in new light.

What does one do with an asset?

Increase it: The more you have of an asset, the better for your personal wealth. How do you increase your talent? By ‘taking it to a higher level’ such that it produces more for you. Mensa Otabil, in Buy The Future: Learning To Negotiate For A Better Future Than Your Present (Pneuma Life Publishing, Inc., 2002), refers to a process of “roasting” that transforms one’s gift into something of higher value. For writing, this simply means improving your skill in a particular field or gaining competence in other fields of writing. You could go for some training, for example, or venture into a new field of writing you have not done before.

Make it produce for you and others: An asset that cannot produce anything ceases to have value for its owner. If you have not been using your skill to produce income, maybe it’s time you began to think about it seriously. However, if income is not among your goals then you could still use your skill to help others achieve their own goals even if they are not paying you. Volunteer your help on major writing projects at work or in your community. You never know, your reward may come in a different way other than finances.

Keep Your Scribal Juices Flowing!

Writer Wordart

Writer Wordart (Photo credit: MarkGregory007)

I regularly attend a writer’s forum where we encourage and build one another to become better writers. I have found it to be both enlightening and challenging as I keep learning new things. Recently, the leader of the forum decided to veer off our usual menu of reading and critiquing poems, short stories and essays and decided to talk about writing itself. He insisted that for one to be considered a true writer, he/she must write every day. Well, the response was not quite what he expected and a long discussion ensued about whether we should write ‘everyday’ or ‘as often as possible’.

The bone of contention was that it is hard for the average person to write often because sometimes the will or energy to write is not there. It’s not easy to keep the juices flowing! True. However, if one is to persist with that attitude in their writing career (or any other career for that matter) then we would have very little literature in the market.

Writing is a pursuit that must be nurtured often; the regularity depends on individual abilities and circumstances. Notwithstanding that, every writer has to find a way of motivating themselves to pen new thoughts, ideas, stories, descriptions, suggestions, etc. There is no universal rule of doing it; you just have to go for what works best for you. However, there are a few things you can do to maintain your passion beyond the norm.

Look for what inspires you:
Many writers work from inspiration, meaning that something in their environment triggers the desire to write, or provides the subject for a story. Find that single inspiration and keep it close by if you can. It could be an environment of complete silence, like when alone in the house; it could be nature, the outdoors, driving to a rural area, being at the lakeside, watching children play, listening to slow music, etc.

Spend a good amount of time reading:
There’s no better writer than a reading writer. I believe that reading fosters writing, and the more you read the more you get ideas to write about. Reading often exercises the mind to think in different ways and can also trigger you to evaluate your own writing as you compare it with others.

Allocate specific time for writing:
In the same way that you allocate time for bonding with your friends, do the same with your writing gift. You need to constantly and consciously get in touch with your writing ‘soul’ in order to develop it, and making time for it deliberately is the best strategy. It may appear a bit stiff at first, having to writ only at a certain time, but once you get into a steady routine you will be glad for it. It helps you focus completely on the task at hand without getting distracted.

These are three simple things you can apply immediately to your writing life. Go on, keep your scribal juices flowing with these suggestions and I hope you enjoy yourself.

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