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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Rethinking Link Earning

Earning links to help your website rise in the search engine rankings now involves different strategies than it did in previous years. Transparent link building plans have fallen out of fashion as Google’s backlink guidelines have evolved and become more defined. Rather than simply buying or exchanging links, companies need to create content that organically encourage other sites with good Page Rank to link to their webpage. While brazen SEO link building tactics are no longer helpful, there are still plenty of good ideas to consider for an effective optimization plan.

Here are a few of my favorite ideas  from a recently updated Backlinko post to help build links to your website.

Audio Sharing Sites

These sites readily accept audio files, whether it’s music or a spoken word piece. Create a great piece of audio content and the benefit is twofold:

  1. You’ll get a follow link to your webpage on the audio sharing site.
  2. You can get listeners to enjoy and share your piece, which may inspire further people to link to your website.

There are a lot of free audio sharing sites, so you can use this idea even if you have a limited SEO budget.

Scoop It

Scoop It allows users to personally curate web content onto their own Scoop It page.

You can suggest content for someone to post by using the “Suggest” feature. If they like your content, they’ll post it and you’ll be linked in the post.

You may need to sign up for a paid Scoop It account to employ this technique.

Website Feedback Sites

Website feedback sites (like Concept Feedbackor Criticue) are another way to get a link. Submit your website to be critiqued and it yields a follow link.

Many of these sites involve a fee as you are given valuable feedback on your website by their staff.

Blog Aggregators

Submit your site to be included on a blog aggregator like Technorati or Alltop and if it’s approved you’ll have a follow link to your site.

News Sites

You might be able to get a great link from an authority news site by working with HARO. HARO (Help a Reporter Out) connects reporters with relevant sources, and if you’re able to provide useful information to a reporter, you and your website could be linked in an article.

There are both free and paid options when signing up to be a HARO source.

Sponsorship / Charitable Contribution

If you have a little more money for your SEO campaign, consider earning a link through a sponsorship or charitable contribution.

Do you sponsor a local business, team or organization? They probably list their sponsors and contributors online, perhaps with a dedicated page that includes a helpful link.


These methods of earning backlinks from high ranking authority pages are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more ways to earn links if you get creative and try new ideas. Beyond that, you can also consult an SEO agency such as Evolving Interactive for more help strengthening your site’s signals.

Bigger Isn’t Better (Necessarily)

In a culture that seems to think bigger is better, it’s easy to get discouraged by big, well-known brands. It’s easy to assume that the big brand’s website will do better in the search rankings because its famous name drives a lot of web traffic. However, this assumption ignores a lot of SEO factors that level the playing field and give smaller local companies the ability to compete with the big guys and bring more customers to their website.

Google Webmaster Matt Cutts recently addressed concerns faced by small sites existing in the shadows of big national sites. He disagrees with the idea that big websites necessarily perform better simply because they’re bigger. He states: “It’s not the case that the smaller site with superior content can’t outdo the larger sites. That’s how the smaller sites often become the larger sites.”

As the saying goes, content is king. Big sites don’t simply start as successful, high-profile sites. They start small, but provide a service and/or content that customers want. As their customer base grows and their brand influence spreads, their site becomes a bigger contender on the web. Even a juggernaut like Facebook started small, and then climbed to its peak by being a dynamic site that evolved with its customers/users wants.

While Facebook’s user base likely differs from your customer base, the idea is the same. By continuing to provide something of value to your customers, your site ranking will improve. Smaller sites are probably more agile than big sites and may be better able to efficiently develop to meet customer demand. Cutts suggests, “Whatever area you’re in, if you’re doing it better than the other incumbents, then over time you can expect to perform better…”

It can certainly be an uphill battle when competing with a major company, the web is something of a level playing field. What matters is the quality of the site’s content. Cutts argues that small sites can “… do a better job of focusing on the user experience, they return something that adds more value.” If you deliver something more valuable to customers – such as better content or user experience – than the big sites do, then more and more customers will eventually come to your site.

Cutts closes by saying, “Don’t stop trying to produce superior content.” In the end, no matter the size of the company, the quality of the content is what will bring more customers to your site. Focus on a unique quality you provide to customers, and provide it to them in the best way possible. If you do this, your site should perform better. Of course, this is easier said than done. If you need assistance improving your site and boosting its rankings, SEO agencies can help.

Blogging Beyond the Basics: What Makes Your Company Great?

Do you think your company doesn’t have enough to say to merit having a blog? That means you’re probably overlooking what makes your company unique. You should know the things that set you apart from competitors, and you should blog about them.

Let’s consider a hypothetical plumbing company. Conventional thinking may suggest that there isn’t much for a local plumber to regularly blog about. You, as the owner of this imaginary plumbing company, assume that after building a website highlighting your services, there’s nothing more to say. After all, how much can you write about snaking a shower drain or fixing a leaky kitchen faucet? It’s true, there might not be a need to regularly write about the services you offer, but you can share more about who you are as a company.

If you’re a local business serving customers in your immediate area, you should use your website to highlight what makes you a strong part of your community. Do you support a local charity? Or sponsor a little league team? If so, write about it! By sharing this information with customers, you give them a better sense of your company beyond the nuts and bolts of your basic services.

When a customer searches for a plumber, they’ll know what they need. They need someone who can fix a broken toilet, and it’s safe to assume that every plumber in their area is capable of handling this task. When they find ten local plumbers, how do they go about choosing which one to call?

They’d probably first consider price, but you’re hopefully already competitive in that regard. Next, they might look at customer reviews. You should ideally be set for this as well, displaying numerous positive reviews from previous customers. So assuming you’ve covered the basic minimum customer expectations of competitive prices and trusted quality, you’ll want something extra to set you apart from all of the other local plumbers who also meet those basic expectations. A great way to do that is to reveal your company’s personality beyond the basics.

Every blog post you write is an opportunity to show customers what makes your company great. Don’t overlook such any opportunity to set yourself apart from your competitors. Think about what makes your company more than the basic services you provide. Once you know what that is, share it with your customers.

Facebook Graph Search – Our First Impressions

Yesterday Facebook Graph Search launched and our phones were ringing as clients understandably want to know more about it. While we completely understand our client’s interest in Graph Search, we are in the process of gathering as much information as possible. It would be premature to provide a robust list of recommendations for how to get more exposure from Graph Search. For the time being, I would point you to recommendations directly from Facebook about how to help people discover your business. With that caveat out of the way, we have been monitoring the news closely and have some important points we want to address.

What is Facebook Graph Search?

Facebook Graph Search allows you to search for people, places and things by leveraging your existing friend data and publicly shared information of non-friends. Keep in mind that this is an incredible amount of data which allows you to search in new ways. For instance, you couldn’t search in Google for restaurants in East Lansing, MI liked by your friends who went to Michigan State University. Graph Search also has many non-commercial benefits. You can now search for photos, videos, and music that friends have liked. It is in beta right now, but expect it to be available to everyone soon.

What does this mean for your business?

We believe that Graph Search is helpful for certain kinds of businesses. Most of the examples of how to use Graph Search involve businesses like restaurants, retail and some services. You can easily imagine how this will benefit restaurant owners and encourage them to solicit likes. However, it’s unclear how Graph Search benefits other kinds of businesses. People tend to think of search in purely positive ways – find a restaurant, a boutique, a place to dance, etc. In reality people have a lot of interactions with businesses that they might now want to announce to the world. Facebook users are far less likely to “like” their bankruptcy attorney or rehabilitation clinic even if the experience was positive. We work with a lot of B2B clients. I don’t know how many opportunities will be available on Graph Search for businesses that aren’t particularly interested in targeting individual consumers.

What does this mean for Google and other online marketing portals?

We do not believe this presents a meaningful challenge to Google’s dominance in the search space. We still believe that in six months, Google’s share of the search market will not change very much. We believe that Graph Search is fundamentally different than Google search and agree with Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land who said,

“It remains very early, but I already find it fascinating the types of searches this is allowing me to do, searches I hadn’t contemplated before. It reminds me of how in the past, we wouldn’t have thought of doing things like YouTube searches or Twitter searches, since we didn’t have those resources. Now, we search at these places for unique needs. Facebook is a great repository of data, and it finally has a search catching up to all it knows.”

We especially like the YouTube and Twitter comparisons. Google’s stated mission is to, “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Graph Search, like Youtube and Twitter, has a far less grandiose mission. Graph Search isn’t interested in organizing all the “world’s information.” They simply want to help you search for nice things your friends are interested in and use Facebook’s data to make their website more useful.

We believe that Graph Search has a bigger impact on other websites. Yelp’s stock dropped 8.5% after the announcement of Graph Search before rebounding later in the day to close down 5.9%. Getting reviews from your friends or friends of friends is more appealing than reviews from total strangers. Others have noted that Graph Search also presents a strong challenge to LinkedIn. It’s easy to see how people would use Graph Search the same way they use LinkedIn today to interact with professionals. We would still be surprised if these popular websites are dramatically impacted by Graph Search. We still recommend pursuing positive Yelp reviews and keeping and updated LinkedIn Business Profile.

What Recommendations Can Evolving Interactive Make at This Time?

We work with our clients to develop fan acquisition strategies. Graph Search only makes a comprehensive fan acquisition strategy more important. The same way SEO evaluates websites by the quality and quantity of links, Graph Search will be impacted by the quantity of “likes.” For more information on how to develop a strategy for your business, contact us anytime.


Best Tools For Social Media Growth

The important of social media marketing is only expanding, and you’ll need certain tools to start and grow your social media campaign. According to a study by Network Solutions, LLC and the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, about one in five small business owners use social media for marketing. Professional services businesses, real estate businesses, and the entertainment, food, and lodging industry use more email marketing, and the social services and education sector use more social media and direct mail marketing.

Whichever category your business falls into, though, social media marketing is likely to become more and more important to your business in the future. Here are just a few of the best tools that can help you grow your social
media marketing campaign.

If you’re already using Twitter as a way to market through social media, you need to know what other Twitter users have to say about your business – and your competition! Monitter is a real-time service that checks in on Twitter mentions. You can set it up to find information on mentions of just about anything, like your business and your business’s competitors. Monitter will then set up a multi-column display that allows you to see what people are saying about you. It’s a must-have tool to track what’s being said about your business and the competition, and it can also help you come up with ideas for further Twitter marketing in the future.

Facebook Insight
Automatically a part of your Facebook analytics, Insight lets you track trends and see how your fans are using your Facebook page. With Insight, you can get a section of demographics about your fans, which includes a list of who most often refers others to your page. You’ll also get analytics about the interactions fans have made with the updates on your page. This lets you see what type of content works best to get a buzz going on your Facebook page, who your fans are, and how you can more specifically market to your target audience.
This is an easy URL shortening tool that gives you automatic analytics on all your social media. A account gives you an analytics suite that will show you historical data, top referrers, and other vital information about where your links are ending up and who is following them through.

YouTube videos are easy to create, and they can be a vital part of a great social media marketing plan. If you’re using every form of social media except for YouTube right now, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. Upload videos of employees giving presentations. Make walk throughs of how to use your products or troubleshoot common problems with them. Give DIY tips that link with your service industry. Many social media users are more likely to watch a video on a topic that interests them than they are to read a blog post, and once you’ve uploaded videos to YouTube, it’s easy to link them with your Twitter feed, blog, Facebook page, and whatever else.

Email isn’t dead quite yet, and in many industries, the email mailing list is still going strong. Whether you already have a mailing list or want to get one started, MailChimp is a great option for you. You can manage a list of up to 500 subscribers for free, and you can integrate your MailChimp with Twitter, Salesforce, and WordPress. Lots of major companies, including Intel and Fujitsu use MailChimp for their email list management!

While many of these tools are free, some require a subscription or yearly fee, especially if you want to get the most out of the service. If you don’t have it in your business budget to upgrade your MailChimp list, for instance, you have a couple of options.


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