Blog about Internet marketing strategies - social media, & SEO

Ultimate Link Building Tool – Link Prospector

Those in SEO, particularly link building field will know how tedious finding and building good links can be. And it gets more difficult with recent penalties by Google on poor linking strategy, especially after Google Penguin updates.

Enter Link Prospector – a web tool (by Citation Labs) to find link prospect quickly. The tool is so simple, you can actually get confused if it is actually useful. Here is a look at how Link Prospector works.

Basically there are four tabs to look out for once you have an account.

  • Campaigns
  • Prospects
  • Exclusions and
  • Profile

Profile tab is for your account settings, so let’s look at the other three tabs.

Campaigns

Campaigns are your project names. Make sure you give a name that is easy to remember later on if you have many campaigns. For this example, I have started ‘Australia Restaurants‘ as a campaign name which will be used to find backlinks for restaurants in Australia. On your campaigns tab, you can create new campaign and rename or delete the existing campaigns.
link prospector campaigns tab

Prospects

This is the most important tab. Here, you can create reports for different types of backlinks as your prospects for link building. Altogether, there are 14 types of prospects in Link Prospector as of now. These are:

  • Guest Posting: Discover blogs that allow guest posts and offer your writing services.
  • Links Pages: Find the resource and links pages that will add a link to your site.
  • Content Promoters: Find writers who are likely to cover your story, or repost your infographics and articles.
  • Reviews: Look for people who review products or services in your space.
  • Giveaways: Offer goods and services for use in contests.
  • Donations: Be charitable and earn links through sponsorship opportunities.
  • Commenting: Find the posts relevant to your key phrases. Join the conversation, and link to your site.
  • Expert Interviews: Identify domain experts you can interview, or pitch your own expertise.
  • Directories: Identify quality directories to help you get your site listed quickly.
  • Forums: Add value to the conversation and build brand equity.
  • Topical Blogs: Pinpoint the blogs that cover your industry, and are likely to post about your site.
  • Professional Organizations: Locate trades and professional organizations you can join.
  • Research: Content: Find top tips for writing great content.
  • Custom: Use any amount of research phrases you like.

Quite a handful ways there! Make sure to give your report a meaningful name that you can remember. For this particular example, I have created a prospect report for Reviews, named ‘restaurant review prospects‘ to find sites who are willing to review my product related to an Australian restaurant. You can choose up to 5 different research phrases for the particular report. This is similar to the keyword research that you do for normal SEO.  You can find more details on the research phrases on the video here. I have chosen these five as my top research phrases while looking for prospects who review restaurants in Australia: “Sydney Restaurant Reviews”, “Dining Guides in Sydney”, “Melbourne Food Guide”, “Top Brisbane restaurants” and “Best Bars in Perth”. Of course you can choose any that you want.

Then you can select the finer controls on what kinds of link prospects you want: these are based on:

  • Region: Country of choice. Useful if your prospects need to be from a particular region/country.
  • Search Scope: Web results or blog results or both. Useful if you are looking for blog or web results only.
  • Depth: number of results to be included from the search results. More depth might produce poor results so it is best to stick to under 50 results. Again, it would depend on the research phrase and you are free to experiment from 1 to 1000 depth.
  • TLD: top level domain from which you want links. .com, .org, .edu, .gov and so on. Useful if you need non .com backlinks.
  • Date Range: you can select results from past 24 hours to past year or any date if you want. Very useful if you want blog reviews.
  • Safe Search Filters: Moderate, Strict or no filtering.
link prospector backlink prospects

You can also select domains to exclude from the particular campaign or overall campaigns – this can be set from the Exclusions tab. Useful if you know you are not going to get backlinks from certain domains and want to exclude that from prospect report.

It generally takes 20-30 minutes for Link Prospector to generate reports. So take a break!

Finally you get the result prospects. In this case, we got over 3300 prospects for ‘restaurant review prospects’. By default, the results are sorted by Link Target Score (LTS) based on the overall relevance and potential. You can also sort by Top Level Domain (TLD) or Google PageRank (PR) of the website. Each resulting domains can have several pages, called the paths, which can be our prospect for backlinks. You can expand the paths by clicking on the number of paths. It is also possible to export the resulting prospect domains or the paths for further use (in .csv format).

link prospector prospects lists

After this, it is up to you how to use the prospect list to build your backlinks.

Exclusions

This tab can be used to exclude domains on campaign level or global level. This is useful to exclude some major sites, or Spam sites or your direct competitors who you are not interested as prospect for backlinks.

Each prospect report costs you a credit. The free version of the Link Prospector comes with 1 free credit. For additional credits, you can subscribe to extra credits on monthly payment basis, which you can easily do anytime from your profile tab. There is also a FAQ section should you have any further questions.

You can start your Link Prospector Campaign here

Interested in building the right set of keywords for your business?

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Insights on Internet Marketing Trends

Internet Marketing has become essential for all brands and companies regardless of their size. With over 1/3 of world population on the internet, companies need to know where and how users are using the internet. Here are some great graphs and insights on how people are using the internet.

(Graphs from HubSpot Download: Registration Required)

internet marketing budget increase
More and more business are increasing their internet marketing investment because it has become more effective than traditional marketing methods.

inbound costs vs outbound
Inbound marketing is the form of internet marketing where potential customers are drawn in to the website using content that they value. Some of inbound marketing tactics are SEO, blogs and social media marketing. These are getting more effective than outbound marketing tactics such as trade shows, where companies reach out to potential users by forcing them their information. New ways of reaching to prospects, such as paid search (PPC) are also getting popular.

customer acquisition using social media
Blogging and social media such as Facebook and Twitter have become important tools for all forms of business, be it B2B or B2C business. If you are not using these, you are likely to be losing customers already.

seo more pages better leads
SEO is internet marketing tactics to get website rank higher on search engine results. More content increase likeliness of appearing in search results. That’s why creating regular contents through channels such as blogging become very important.

email marketing rise
Another form or internet marketing is email marketing (or permission marketing). Done right, these are powerful way to reach to the prospects.

Facebook popularity
Facebook is the most popular of social media tools. Since almost everybody is on Facebook, this is a great way for business to reach and communicate with customers.

mobile importance
Worldwide, mobile penetration is ubiquitous. With increase in smartphone, using internet on handheld devices have increased drastically not only in developed countries, but also in emerging nations such as India, China and developing country such as Nepal (in fact Asia has the fastest growing mobile users). Mobile traffic contributes over 10% of total internet traffic globally. With mobile search marketing, more mobile users are likely to perform action than desktop users.

Are you investing on (or considering) Internet Marketing now? Share your thoughts on how it is going.

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Patent Rights: Yahoo Warns Facebook

The following is a guest blog. Email me at roshanjoshi@gmail.com with the subject ‘Guest Blog’ if you are interested in guest blogging.

Yahoo has seen some young competitors in the business lately. The company has now got engaged in a patent right fight with Facebook and has also issued a warning to the company over the usage of its intellectual property.

Yahoo has warned Facebook that some of the technologies that it is using have already been filed by Yahoo in its 10 or 20 patents. According to Yahoo, some other companies have also used the Yahoo patent technologies but there is no issue relating to it as they have got the usage licensed by Yahoo.

Facebook can also resolve the issue by getting a license and by paying the license fees. In case Facebook does not opt for the license then Yahoo will be suing the company. Representatives of the two companies met with each other in this regard.

A spokesperson of Yahoo said that Yahoo has a right to protect its intellectual property and the company has also got a responsibility towards its stakeholders, shareholders and employees. Therefore they have to insist that either Facebook goes for the licensing arrangement or they will be protecting their patent rights in a unilateral manner. This message was conveyed by Yahoo to New York Times in an e-mail.

The spokesman for Facebook, Barry Schnitt says that they have not yet been able to completely evaluate the claims that have been made by Yahoo.

Silicon Valley has witnessed many cases relating to patent rights with smart-phones leading the sphere. A whopping sum of $ 12.5 billion was paid by Google to Motorola Mobility last year. This amount was paid by Google in order to access the intellectual properties of Motorola. The defunct communication equipment manufacturer Nortel received an amount of $4.5 billion that was paid by a consortium of companies led by Microsoft and Apple for the 6,000 patents which Nortel had. The different areas of world have witnessed many cases. These cases involved leading smartphone makers like Samsung and Apple.

Yahoo’s warning has come at a very delicate time for Facebook as the company is planning to go public this spring. The event is also one of the most anticipated debut events of times.

Yahoo has last year reviewed it patents to be sold to outside investors also. People who are close to the company have said that these patents included the ‘firsts ‘ also that were awarded to Yahoo. By buying Overture Services, Yahoo has been able to acquire many more intellectual property rights in the year 2003. Overture Services had sued Google over patent issues and was search advertising company.

It is still not clear how much amount will the licensing agreement will cost to Facebook and how much Yahoo will gain if the two companies reach an agreement. Yahoo received around 2.7 million shares in Google when it settled the acquired company battle with it in year 2004.

Yahoo’s patents were rated as being the most valuable in all of the internet and communication services by a technology publication called IEEE spectrum. According to investors the intellectual property rights of Yahoo will give the company more power against Facebook. According to Eric Jackson, a managing member of Ironfire Capital, Yahoo can use the patents for getting a good amount from Facebook.

About the Author:

margaret-jules

Margaret is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on hometone and styleguru.
She recently did an article on Facebook fever. These days she is busy in writing an article on angelina jolie wiki.

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3 Great Ways to Use Timeline Cover for Facebook Pages

New Facebook Timeline for Pages allow brands plenty of space (851px x 315px) to highlight interesting features. Here are 3 great ways Facebook Timeline Cover are used by Companies and Brands on Facebook Pages.

1) Highlight People

What’s better than highlighting people? Many companies are using Facebook Cover on their Facebook Pages to highlight their human resources. Such as

New York Times
New York Times Facebook Cover
NYTimes has used Facebook timeline to highlight its people very well – world’s best journalists.

Dr Pepper
Dr Pepper Facebook Cover
Dr Pepper’s Facebook Timeline Cover is creatively made with small avatars of people which looks really neat if you take a closer look. Also has the soft drink popping out from the profile picture itself. Creative indeed – but who the people in the avatars are is not clear.

2) Highlight User Testimonials

Facebook Timeline Cover doesn’t allow direct promotion of products. But testimonial by customers? That should be just fine. And it can be updated easily too.

HTC
htc Facebook Page Cover
HTC used client as testimonial – and an amazing one too – freefall fashion photographer on air – with signature. Quietly Brilliant!

Dunkin’ Donuts
Dunkin' Donuts Facebook Cover
Dunkin’ Donuts highlights its weekly fans. Thus it is updating Facebook cover every week as well as showing real customers.

3) Highlight Vision / Strength

Since the Facebook Cover is such a big part of the brand’s Facebook pages, it is best place to start showing what your brand is about.

CloudFactory
CloudFactory Facebook Cover
For a startup using crowdsourcing to develop the livelihood of people in developing nations, CloudFactory has used childish art very well on its Facebook Timeline Cover.

Ncell
Facebook Cover for Ncell
Ncell doesn’t mention its name on Facebook Cover but simply tells what it does – connect within Nepal.

Bing
Bing Facebook Page Timeline Cover
Bing does well to not only show that it is a search engine, but also add interesting photos as background images. Updated daily to reflect their main site. You could visit it just to see the images! Google’s Facebook cover is comparatively dull.

How does your brand use the Timeline Cover in Facebook Page?

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SEO Best Practices

SEO or search engine optimization is about getting more visibility to your website on search engines such as Google. However, SEO for business without a clear strategy mostly lead to unsuccessful or non-profitable results and huge loss in terms of investment, time or both.

First, what is SEO?
Here is a video on SEO in simple language for those who are not too familiar with it.

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Each Search Engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing rank websites based on their algorithm (set of rules). While the algorithm are different for different search engines, the important factors for SEO are

  • Content of the website or the words and the keywords
  • Titles and META tags
  • Number of links pointing to the website or the backlinks
  • Anchor text or the words in such backlinks
  • Reputation of such backlinks

While the basics of SEO are simple, due to huge number of website, the implementation and execution part aren’t always easy. Many small business often go to creative agencies that produce great looking websites that do not bring visitors through search engines. The result? There is no business through the website. Also due to lack of knowledge, SEO is often mistaken as separate segment or a value added service of an online business and left to external experts or a separate team. This is not right. SEO should be part of the marketing strategy of a business for best results and the top level should also be involved in what is expected.

Here is a video on some common SEO mistakes and ways to correct them.

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Each business should have a value proposition to the target market and it applies to websites as well. Why should a user come to your website and use your product/service/brand or recommend it? Knowing those help understand what customers want and which keywords to target for SEO.

For lasting SEO, it is best to focus on user and user experience rather than search engines. Since the SEO basics appear easy and results are quickly visible, it is common to overdo the stuff (such as being obsessed with keyword density, PageRank or Alexa Rank) rather than enhancing the user experience. It is however, best to focus on what your customers actually need or want. When more users like and recommend the things on the website, search engines are more likely to rank such sites naturally. For this use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Google+ is a great way to start. Understanding and following the best SEO practices above are always important.

Which factors do you consider for SEO of your website and business?

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Infographics: 60 seconds in Social Media

60 seconds may not be enough even to enjoy a cup of coffee for a person in real world, but that is a lot of time in the social media world.

Consider this for what happens every minute (60 seconds) in the social networking sites:
Facebook: 700K messages sent
YouTube: 2 million videos viewed
Twitter: 175K tweets
LinkedIn: 7K searches
Pinterest: 1K visitors

Infographics - 60 seconds in social media

Still think your business can afford to miss the social media?

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About People and Deadlines

I find that people have their own way of meeting (or not meeting) the targeted deadlines. Be it the exam study deadlines or client project deadlines, you will come across people/teams or organizations who do things at different speed. There are 3 typical ways that people could be attempting to reach their deadlines.

1. The Last Hour Person

Meeting deadlines - The Last Hour Person

This unfortunately is the most common type of person/team in our part of the world. When they get the deadline, they start off slow (or think the deadline has a long way to go). And then there is the inevitable final hour acceleration mode, which could mean staying awake many nights before the deadline itself.

2. The Consistent Workhorse

Meeting deadlines - The Consistent Workhorse

This should have the ideal way of doing things, where people do things based on the total work. Unfortunately, for many, this is just for good for the theory. If you are in this category, good for you or your clients. It is important to notice that even the most ideal team will undergo acceleration in terms of their speed or effort at some time during the project.

3. The Irresponsible

Meeting deadlines - The Irresponsible

They are most likely not to finish project on time or meet deadlines. They are the ones who generally wait for external inputs to speed up their efforts. Once the inputs stop coming, the deadlines are bound to be missed. The best way to work with such people could be to give them shorter deadlines again and again and send reminders. If not, stay away from these people/team.

So, which one are you?

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World of Social Media (Video)

Here is an interesting video on YouTube that shows the boom in social media in 2011. As we approach 2012, the social media are likely to grow even more rapidly, including the mobile social media.

Some staggering data regarding social media engagement are:

  • Facebook is the most visited website in the world
  • 11% of the world population use Facebook
  • There are more Facebook users than vehicles in the world!
  • 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each month
  • There are about 150,000,000 tweets in Twitter each day
  • Average tweet is only 40 characters long
  • 35 hours of videos are uploaded on YouTube every minute
  • 3500 photos uploaded every second on Flickr
  • Every executive of fortune 500 company is listed on LinkedIn
  • 60% admit they are using mobile devices even in bathroom!
  • Women are more active than men on social media
Social media is not an advantage for business. It is a basic necessity.

Start using today.

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