Why SEO Should Be Your Primary Marketing Strategy

As an online marketing agency, we have an ever-growing arsenal of tactics and strategies to help our clients attract leads and increase sales. But almost invariably, when a new client comes onboard, we end up recommending that they start with an SEO campaign before or at least concurrent with ramping up other strategies.

Why this emphasis on SEO? Simply put, SEO offers by far and away the best value of all the marketing options available today, online or offline. In fact, one recent survey of ecommerce website owners showed that, on average, SEO leads convert to sales at an astonishing 15%. When you compare this to conversion rates of just 4% for leads from social media and 2% for leads from direct mail, email, and print ads, you’ll understand why we believe it’s just crazy to start with any other marketing strategy before you get going with SEO. With conversion rates 650% higher than these other marketing methods, SEO just makes good sense for ecommerce stores.

The top ecommerce sites already know this

The superiority of SEO leads is no secret to the biggest players in ecommerce. In any given ecommerce niche, you will find that the top companies all rely heavily on intensive SEO campaigns and organic (free) search traffic as the primary source for their leads. Amazon, Overstock, Target, and Walmart all have invested substantially in SEO and have reaped massive rewards for their efforts.

As the big boys know, today’s shoppers go to Google (and the other search engines) when they want to buy. Therefore, as an ecommerce business, you absolutely must be found as high in the search results as possible in order to grow your business and substantially increase market share. If you’re not there at the top of the search results, your competitors will be, and they will be the ones making all the sales.

Need more reasons to get started with SEO? Below are some very compelling statistics that show why your ecommerce site needs to be found at the top of the search results and how leads driven by SEO convert better than leads from any other available source.

How consumers look for you today:

  • 92% of Internet users use search engines to find the sites they want. – RedCroix.com (January 2010)
  • 71% of all U.S. adults shop online. – Pew Internet & American Life Project (August 2010)
  • 75% of Internet users have the intent to purchase when using search engines. – RedCroix.com (January 2010)

How SEO leads convert:

  • Overall, 15% of SEO leads convert to sales. Comparatively, Social Media leads convert at just 4%, while leads from outbound marketing techniques like email marketing, print campaigns, direct marketing, etc convert at just 2%. – HubSpot.com State of Inbound Marketing (2012)
  • SEO traffic converts 200% better than social referrals. – Econsultancy (August 2010)
  • 77% of search users click on organic listings over paid (Adwords) listings. – Intraspin.com (January 2010)

The bottom line is this: while SEO leads cost about the same as social media leads and less than half as much as leads from direct mail, email, and print ads, leads driven by SEO and organic search traffic convert far, far better than any of these other methods. This combination of low lead price and superior conversion rates really make SEO a no-brainer for any business looking to attract more customers and increase market share.

Now I know there are a few businesses out there that actually don’t want to grow or can’t expand their capacity due to logistical restraints. But for the rest of you, if you haven’t yet begun an SEO campaign for your ecommerce business, what are you waiting for?

Google Product Search Transitions to Paid Model

Google dropped another bombshell early this month, announcing that Google Product Search will be transitioning to a paid model. Up until now, merchants have been able to submit products and product data feeds at no expense, enjoying the free traffic to their sites. The new program will be called “Google Shopping” and is the evolution of “Google Product Listing Ads”, more commonly referred to as the Google PLA system.

Merchants have just a few months to decide whether or not to transition to the new model. Google hasn’t released an official date, but they say Google Shopping will launch sometime around the end of summer 2012, possibly as late as Oct 2012. In the meantime, merchants who sign up before August 15th are being offered a 10% monthly credit towards their monthly Product Listing Ad spend which will be effective through the end of the year. Existing merchants are also eligible for a $100 Adwords credit to apply towards Product Listing Ads.

Is a Paid Inclusion Model Good or Bad for Merchants and Consumers?

There are two schools of thought on this new development. First, that many small businesses will simply be forced out of the search results, unable to compete with the big players. This represents another move away from small business and further embracing of large corporations. Critics of Google believe that the playing field is becoming increasingly skewed towards big money, making the barrier to entry still higher for the little guy. On the other hand, Google will have us believe that the move represents an effort on their part to deliver higher quality search results and a better user experience.

The move to a “paid inclusion” model seems contrary to statements released by Google in 2004 regarding their flagship product search feature “Froogle”:

“Because we do not charge merchants for inclusion in Froogle, our users can browse product categories or conduct product searches with confidence that the results we provide are relevant and unbiased.”

Since then, Google has clearly reversed its stance. However, they argue that the definition of “paid inclusion” doesn’t apply to Google shopping because there is a clear differentiation between the organic results and the paid listings. However, Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land disagrees citing that:

“Paid inclusion has been historically used to describe when people pay to appear in a search engine’s results but without any guarantee of prominent placement. What’s happening with Google Shopping is classic, textbook paid inclusion.”

His position is supported by the US Federal Trade Commission’s own definition of paid inclusion:

“Paid inclusion can take many forms. Examples of paid inclusion include programs where the only sites listed are those that have paid; where paid sites are intermingled among non-paid sites; and where companies pay to have their Web sites or URLs reviewed more quickly, or for more frequent spidering of their Web sites or URLs, or for the review or inclusion of deeper levels of their Web sites, than is the case with non-paid sites.”

The Future of Online Shopping

Whatever your position, The volume of online shopping traffic is simply staggering and for those that opt into the new paid model, the competition will narrow as those that choose not to participate get peeled off. There are still hundreds of free options for merchants who want to submit their products and product data feeds including Bing Shopping and theFind.com.

Google Plus Local Crash Course

Last Thursday, Google rolled out a sweeping change to the way businesses are listed in their search engine, once again shaking things up for business owners. Those of us that follow search engine technology and social trends may have seen the writing on the wall, but how and when the change came was a surprise for everyone. Without any prior announcement or warning, one of the most visible flagship Google products disappeared.

I’m talking about Google Places, or Place Pages as they’ve come to be known. For the last couple of years, business owners have been scrambling to understand how these one-page business listings get ranked on page 1, grabbing a significant portion of the overall search traffic. Behind the scenes, a subculture of savvy Internet marketing guru’s have developed sophisticated tools, tricks, and techniques designed to propel their clients above competitors.

Google Places disappeared last Thursday and it’s not coming back. Where Google Places once was, you’ll now find Google+ Local. Don’t panic! The information, photos, and videos that you added to your Google Places page was already migrated over to Google+ Local for you. If you already had a Google+ account for your business, you’re one step ahead. If not, you will have to claim it now. You can still login and update your page though the same login, and at least for now that shouldn’t change, even if it is a little confusing.

What Does Google+ Local Mean for Your Business?

The answer to that question depends entirely on whether or not you believe that the Internet is the single most powerful way for businesses to connect with people who are searching for products and services both locally and worldwide. If you are a non-believer you can simply ignore Google+ Local and continue to do things the old fashioned way. But, if you’re ready to take advantage of the Internet as a vehicle to build your business and leave your competitors in the dust, read on.

The Lowdown on Google+ Local

Google+ Local brings two products under one roof by merging the social component of Google+ with the static Places page. Ultimately, we think business owners will find it easier to manage all their Google products from one account. Users can still get all the same essential information about your location, contact information, and leave reviews for your business. But now they will also be able to comment on news items in your feed, join your circles, and interact with business owners in a way that wasn’t possible with Google Places.

Before Google+ Local blindsided everyone last week, a few proactive businesses already had created Google+ business pages and begun to build up circles, post updates, and add photos and video. For those that didn’t get a head start, Google is telling you now in no uncertain terms what they want from you. Over the coming months, Google is going to be watching closely to see which businesses take advantage of Google+ Local, and rewarding those that do with higher rankings in organic search. It’s safe to say that Google is going to be heavily weighting a few factors when it comes to ranking Google+ Local pages. Those factors include the number of reviews you have (and you’ve left on other pages), on-page as well as off-page SEO, and how active business owners are on their own pages as well as on other businesses’ pages.

Zagat Reviews Replace 5 Star Rating System

All you gastrophiles out there will be familiar with the Zagat rating system that scores restaurants out of 30 based on food, ambiance, and service. Google’s recent purchase of Zagat (Oct 2011) for $151 million was a strategic move to differentiate themselves from Yelp and other popular review sites.

Now, Google users will rate businesses on a scale of 0-4 contributing to an overall score out of 30. Zagat users can users can leave ratings from their Zagat account or from their Google account. It takes a minimum of ten reviews to trigger display of the Zagat score in the search results. Sites with less than ten reviews will simply show text that indicates how many reviews the business has. It is yet to be determined how consumers will react to the new, less familiar scoring system and what impact it will have on businesses.

Once you get used to the new landscape, you’ll want to take a closer look at some exciting features of the Google+ review system that have potentially huge implications.

  1. You can now leave reviews as a business rather than from your personal account. This makes perfect sense for those in the B2B market.
  2. Profile image icons are now clickable and bring users directly to your Google+ Local page. Google+ Profile image photos and hyperlinked text appear to be “do-follow” when we inspected with Firebug, but Google may be adding the “no-follow” attribute another way. Regardless, a link back to your Google+ Local page is a link. When you leave a review as a business, you are building off-page SEO for your page. Every time you leave a review with a clickable profile icon, you are building a backlink. If Google was looking for a way to encourage SEO companies to leave reviews on the clients behalf, they struck gold.
  3. It appears that Google+ Local Pages are now being indexed by Google. That means that all the same factors that determine your organic ranking for your website apply to Google+ Local pages.
  4. Once you leave a review, you can also choose to share that review with your circles. Sharing reviews is a powerful way to promote businesses while adding social proof at the same time.
  5. Reviews can now be sorted by “most helpful”, “most recent”, “highest score”, and “lowest score”.
  6. Reviews can be filtered to include reviews from everyone or limited to just those within your circles.
  7. Google+ is bad news for those that have built businesses by leaving fake reviews for their clients. New reviews must be tied to a legitimate Google+ account, making it easier for Google to track user activity and filter out spammers.
  8. Google+ users can now include a photo with their review. Obviously the potential for abuse is huge and we have yet to see how granting users this additional functionality will play out.
  9. All existing reviews left on Google Places have been migrated and the star ratings converted to the Zagat system. However, users must claim and republish reviews they left in the past. So far we’ve seen very little evidence that anyone has done this. Probably Google will have to find a way to nudge people for this to happen on any significant scale. When we checked today, 99% of reviews still say they were left by “a Google user”.
  10. Now when a review is left for a business, the business owner is notified by email. This should improve customer service and reputation management given the fact that most businesses have been oblivious to the conversation online so far.

Overall, the new Zagat review system is infinitely more sophisticated and should encourage Google users to be more active, which is what Google wants desperately. On the flip side, the wolves are already licking their chops in Internet marketing circles, developing stealthy marketing tactics in an effort to exploit the new functionality.

Google+ Local Has Arrived and What to do About it

Google has been trying to break into social media for years, however poorly (RIP Google Buzz!). Merging Google Places with Google+ is just another way for them to force Google users to participate in their social platform, making them more competitive with behemoths Facebook and Twitter. Make no mistake, Google has invested in Google+ on an unprecedented scale and they aren’t going to let this one go the way of the Dodo without a fight.

Like it or not, your Google+ Local page has insinuated itself into your online business model so you may as well embrace it. Once you stop pounding your fists on the floor while screaming “I don’t want it!” you’ll see that it’s actually not going to be so painful to get your businesses up to speed. Start by building out your circles, publishing regular updates, leaving reviews, and uploading photo and video content that adds value for your customers.

Essentially, Google is looking for the most influential businesses in the marketplace. If you establish yourself now, while your competitors are asleep at the wheel, only good things can happen.

Has Your Business Transitioned to Facebook Timeline?

The new Facebook timeline is here. Whether you like it or not, your Facebook personal page, and more importantly your business page now is on timeline. That means that if you haven’t made changes, your page probably looks terrible right now!

Before you start groaning about the additional work (or expense) that the new Facebook architecture demands of you, rest assured that these changes are awesome for your business. We’ve always complained about the user experience on the old Facebook business pages, so we’re not cryin’ now that they’ve gone bye-bye.

The first thing you’ll notice when you go to your page now is that your profile picture is still there, but it is now a square. If you had a tall banner before, you’ll need to design and upload a new profile pic. If you haven’t uploaded a banner image, start brainstorming! This new header image area is possibly the most exciting development visually on the page. Now, you get 851 x 315 pixels of prime real estate to promote and brand your business. Still mourning the old Facebook? I didn’t think so.

Four Things You Can’t Do With Your New Facebook Banner

1. Absolutely no contact information. That means you can’t put telephone numbers, street addresses, or website URL’s in your banner image.

2. No prices or special offers or discounts. I guess this is their way of preventing business pages from looking like a flea market.

3. No call to action. If you aren’t sure what that means, it is basically this: you cannot have text that encourages the user to ‘do’ anything. So, no “text yummy to 57745 to get a free yoghurt” or “call now to get a free yellow widget”.

4. No references or arrows pointing to the like button. I know, I know, we are all going to miss those gorgeous “Click LIKE to Get Instant Access!” graphics. Don’t panic though, there is still a home for your forced likes. Keep reading.

Bemoaning the Loss of Your Custom Facebook Mini-Site?

If you were like us and customized your Facebook welcome page with an iframe mini-site, you will notice that it is no longer the right size. Your old mini-site can still be found when you click the welcome tab, but now you get 810px to play with vs the old 520px. Don’t see the welcome tab? Just to the right of the fourth tab you’ll see a little downward arrow icon you can click to expand and view all your tabs.

If you built a fan gate page to force likes, you’ll quickly notice that it doesn’t work anymore. The ability to encourage likes is not entirely eliminated though, as I will explain in a minute. Take a moment to mourn the loss of your old iframe mini-site (that never felt quite right jammed into the middle column) and get ready to embrace the new and improved tabs and pages!

Customizing Your Facebook Tabs and Pages

Kudos to Facebook for ditching the hideous old school left column menu and replacing it with tabs! The tabs are fully customizable, and yes, each one can be a call to action if you so choose. Each tab is actually an “app”, which when clicked will open a new full width (810px) page.

The possibilities for building custom pages are limited only by your imagination. You can install an app to display your twitter feed, embed custom HTML or WordPress, or use the Facebook search field (type in ‘iframe’) to find out-of-the-box iframe apps. On these pages you can reference the ‘Like’ button and encourage your visitors to click it to enter contests or reveal hidden content. So, go get clever with a QR code and send your customers to a custom tab page and keep incentivizing those all important ‘Likes’.

One thing hasn’t changed: Facebook is just as confusing as ever for non-developers. Unless you are really savvy or love a hair pulling 72 hour challenge, the more advanced customizations are still just as non-intuitive. For that reason, installing page tab apps or customizing HTML/Wordpress for 810px is beyond the scope of this article, but please contact us if you need help.

If you’d like to see a creative use of the new layout check out: http://www.facebook.com/livestrong

Wondering how to control the images for your tabs? Remember that the first tab for photos cannot be moved. It will always display your most recently uploaded photo. All of your other tab images can be changed by going into your admin panel (top right) and click manage » edit page » apps » edit settings » change image.

Customizing Your Facebook User Name URL

If you haven’t done it already – do it now! Claim your username and get your custom URL (like the one I just gave you for LiveStrong above). No one is going to remember the cumbersome default page name, and you won’t want an ugly URL on your promotional materials. Claiming your new username will produce a URL that should look like this: http://www.facebook.com/YourBusinessName

Go here to get started: http://www.facebook.com/help/pages/usernames

A Few Tips for Managing Your Timeline

When you roll over a timeline box, you’ll notice two icons in the the top right corner. Use the star to ‘Highlight’ a post or make it full width. Doing this calls extra attention to any premium featured content that you want to promote. Use the pencil to change the date of a post, hide or remove it, mark it as spam, or add a location.

Your ‘Likes’ now show up on the top right of your timeline.  Up to 5 ‘Likes’ are displayed at a time and will rotate position when the page is refreshed. Likes serve as social proof and can be very powerful in attracting new prospects and leads for your business.

How Often Should You Update Your Facebook Business Page?

The hundred dollar question! I completely understand that as a business owner you are busy, and maintaining a Facebook page is an added burden to your workload. I also get it that you didn’t go into business so you could become a social media marketing guru. Solution? 2-5 updates per week is totally acceptable for most businesses. Present your Facebook subscribers with news updates from your field, links to your recent blog posts, and make sure you interact with other businesses by liking their content.

Nothing is worse than a stagnant or entirely neglected Facebook page. Doing the bare minimum – 1 update per month – will at least let your users know that you are still in business, even if you aren’t the most exciting Facebook power user. What is expected of you will depend on your specific market. For example, a dentist doesn’t need to be posting 3 times per day, and no one wants to read about restorations all day long anyway. On the other hand, a high end consignment shop can post their best new inventory as it arrives.

So, Why Should Business Owners Care About Facebook Anyway?

Put it this way, as of Feb 2012, the number of Facebook users worldwide had surpassed 850 million. Embracing Facebook isn’t just about servicing customers and lead generation, it’s about staying relevant. It’s a fact that social media is the future and it presents a marketing opportunity all businesses should get excited about.

Do you need help promoting your business on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and other popular social media websites? We can help you grow your followers and build a powerful base of motivated people you can access to market your products and services. Visit our page on social media marketing.

How to Set up a LinkedIn Ad Campaign

If you have a profile on LinkedIn, you might have received a $50 coupon code recently (I did) to get you started with LinkedIn Ads. Don’t delete that email just yet, LinkedIn might be just the ad platform you’ve been looking for.

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The Dangers of Fake Yelp Reviews

Let’s face it, Yelp can be maddening for businesses, and it can seem incredibly unfair too. Bad reviews appear to have a way of rising to the top, while many of the good reviews your customers leave seem to be filtered out, leaving you with that dreaded low rating. The whole process of managing your reviews can get so frustrating and bad reviews can hurt your business so much that you might be tempted to resort to desperate measures. This can leave you very susceptible to the sales pitches of reputation repair firms.

This isn’t to say that reputation management is a bad idea. In fact, when done ethically and correctly, it can radically improve your business. The problem is that many firms out there engage in practices that are not just shady and unethical but that are in fact utterly and incontrovertibly illegal. In fact, hiring a firm to perform such services for your company can get you in deep, deep trouble with the FTC, leading to fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and even to jail time.

So just what are these dangerous practices? Most commonly they involve posting fake reviews on Yelp and other similar sites like Google Places and CitySearch. And while it might be self-evident that posting these fake reviews is unethical, many business owners seem to be unaware that doing so is also quite illegal.

This problem of fake reviews has been growing steadily over the past few years as Yelp and similar sites have exploded in popularity with consumers. The New York Times documented the problem of businesses seeking to get better Yelp and Amazon reviews in an article last August. In that article, they touched upon the progress being made to spot and remove fake reviews algorithmically. Of all the review sites, Yelp is the most aggressive in filtering out possibly illegitimate reviews. The problem is, their algorithm, while successful in filtering out many of the worst offenders, currently also removes many legitimate reviews too, and this is making things very frustrating for many businesses stuck with just a handful or negative reviews.

This aggressive filtering on the part of Yelp does not stop many businesses from continuing to hire unethical reputation management firms to crank out the fake reviews. In fact, while doing competition research for clients of our Los Angeles-based marketing firm, I have come across a surprisingly large volume of obviously fake reviews in a number of different niches both locally and in other cities. In most cases, even when the seemingly fake reviews stuck on CitySearch and even Google, Yelp managed to filter them out. This leaves an easily recognizable footprint in the Google search results, showing a large volume of near perfect 5-star ratings on Google Places, CitySearch, etc., while showing only a handful of reviews and a far lower rating in Yelp. The screen shot below shows one such set of results. I have blurred all identifying information for the business to protect their anonymity.

Getting More Yelp Reviews - Avoid This Method

The wrong way to get more Yelp reviews

As you can see in the screen shot, this company currently has five-star ratings in both Google Places and CitySearch and around 50 reviews on each site. In stark contrast, they only have 5 reviews showing on Yelp and a 2-star average rating. Further probing shows 29 filtered results on Yelp, many coming from accounts with just a couple reviews or less (this being one of the markers Yelp seems to look for when devaluing or filtering out ratings).

Further probing reveals that, of the ten most recent reviews on their Google Places page, 9 were five star, and seven were from accounts with one review, two on accounts with just 2 reviews. Almost all were just one line long, saying things like “great job,” and (most suspiciously), two of these short reviews even contained the same 13 word phrase! The one seemingly real review of these ten came from an account with 7 reviews, was rather scathing, and gave them just one star.

Those of us with experience in SEO know that Google is becoming exceptionally adept at spotting any type of footprint, so it is clearly only a matter of time before they too manage to filter out such apparently obvious fake reviews. And we have every reason to believe that being flagged for fake reviews might affect not only Google Places star ratings but also Google’s search rankings too. Google takes such gaming of their system quite personally. Their prime objective is to maintain the quality and integrity of their results, and to serve up only the most correct and up to date information possible. Therefore, when they find people they believe are gaming them, they don’t take it very well.

As a result, any business going down this road and hiring unethical reputation management firms could possibly see their sites dropping in the organic search results or even being de-indexed (banned) from Google altogether as a result of either algorithmic changes or manual reviews. When you consider this risk on top of the already scary legal implications of fake reviews, it really does not make sense to even consider such an approach.

But then what is the honest and ethical business owner to do to get better ratings in Yelp, Google, and the rest of the review sites? Well that’s a topic for another post. But we have been researching and testing many great methods to get more reviews for our clients, and all these methods start with assessing and improving customer service. Use reviews as a tool to take a fresh the quality of your service. Once you are confident you have your house in order, you must ask customers to leave you reviews on specific sites. Knowing exactly when and how to make such requests will determine whether you are successful in improving your ratings or not, and I will cover these topics in upcoming posts.

Visit our page on Reputation Management and find out how we can help your business get fair representation online.

What is Google’s Over-Optimization Penalty and How it Will Affect You

There is a lot of debate over what exactly the so called “over-optimization” penalty will mean for SEO’s. Some say it will be a filter applied to sites that have excessive amounts of the same anchor text, other say it applies more to on-page factors like H1 titles. Google web spam czar Matt Cutts doesn’t normally announce upcoming tweaks to the Google search algorithm, but in this case he has talked about it, and said it should be introduced over the next few weeks.

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A Beginners’ Guide to E-Commerce Security

a beginners guide to ecommerce securityIn some ways, an online store might seem safer to the owner than brick and mortar businesses. After all, no one can march into it (wearing a creepy mask) and demand all the cash in your register. On the web, threats aren’t so obvious — which makes them sinister on a different level. If you slack on e-commerce security, you don’t just risk losing your own money — you compromise your customers’ sensitive information as well.

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How Online Marketers Are Using Pinterest to Promote Their Businesses

Pinterest seems to have taken the Internet world by storm. Beloved by its primary demographic (which is said to be affluent, highly educated women under 45 years old), Pinterest also offers significant value to online marketers due this new social media outlet’s ability to direct focused traffic to websites.

On Pinterest, users can share visually interesting items ranging from photographs to infographics, inspirational sayings, and videos. Users can search for pins with specific keywords or browse by category. It’s also possible, as on Twitter or Facebook, to follow the pins of favorite users and repin items from their pinboards.

Although Pinterest officially discourages users from overt self-promotion, online markets can take advantage of this source of traffic. When used like other social media sites, as a way to share engaging links and ideas with interested followers, Pinterest can function as an extension of your company’s About page—leading to increased trust and higher conversion.

Key Strategies for Promoting Your Business with Pinterest

1. Enforce brand recognition

Since Pinterest focuses on images, it’s a great opportunity to provide visual repetition of your logo and key products. Whenever you like or repin someone else’s image, a tiny avatar of your logo will appear beneath it. The site also lets you include a link to your site in the comments field of each pin.

If your business is service-oriented, use Pinterest to share photos of people using your service (after obtaining permission from your clients). Infographics and videos are especially useful to service businesses or those selling informational products.

2. Make it searchable

Pinterest allows you to use hashtags (for example, #fashion) that help users find your pins by using the search function. Searches also turn up other significant keywords in the comments field of your pins. Choose keywords that will direct relevant traffic to your boards and ultimately to your website.

3. Make it local

Catering to a geographical area? Include the name of your city or neighborhood in the comments field, as long as it makes sense in the context of that image. It’s particularly helpful to add a board solely for pins related to your local area.

What if your business is aimed at the global Internet market? It’s still a good idea to add a board with images related to the city where your company is headquartered. When customers can mentally envision you in a specific environment, it heightens trust.

4. Get it featured

You can add a price tag and website link to any pin that shows a product. This causes your pin to be featured automatically under the Gifts category.

Another way to increase visibility is giving each board a catchy title. Keep it family-friendly and appropriate to your brand, but demonstrate human qualities like a sense of humor. Think of your board titles as a headline to draw in users who will then follow your boards, leading to greater visibility for your logo avatar.

5. Make it social

After you’ve uploaded a pin, share it on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter so that you’re generating backlinks. You can also add a Pin It button to your website to encourage Pinterest users to share images.

Remember, social networks are primarily about engaging with others. The majority of your activity on Pinterest should be repinning and commenting on other users’ pins. Don’t forget to “like” pins in addition to repinning them, and take the opportunity to “follow” other uses. As with Twitter, it often happens if you follow a user’s boards, they will follow you in return. More followers means more eyes on your pins—and your website.

Andrew Michaels is a business writer for Indemnity Insurance.net – a dedicated business resource.

Reputation Management Simplified

What is Reputation Management?

• Managing what people say about you online • Responding appropriately to comments and criticisms • Creating content to promote the positives of your business • Setting up a system to monitor mentions of your business online

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