(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – So you want your website to show up on page one of Google search results, but how do you get there. SEO? But what really is SEO? Most business owners have no idea what SEO really is or what to do to get their website ranking better in search results. There are lots of SEO companies promising page one results for as little as a few hundred dollars, but these promises are about as reliable as the snake oil salesman selling his elixir of life from the back of his wagon. Most business owners do not fully understand what it is that SEO companies do and send a check every month and just hope it works. So what do you do?
Cloud Seeding(SM), a metaphor for seeding the cloud with content, was created by Esotech as a simple explanation of how creating content on your website and blog, as well as throughout the internet, plus sharing it on social networks, helps your website content get found and increases the traffic and visibility of your site. Simply put, a Cloud Seeding campaign is a well planned content creation program where you create high quality content on your websiteand blog, along with complimentary content on social networks which refers to the site and blog. It is essential to understand that any “spammy” content or practices will not only defeat the purpose but could actually have the opposite effect and harm your search rankings.
9 Steps to Start Your Cloud Seeding Campaign
1. Review your website: make sure it is up to date and ask a professional website designer to review it for SEO compatibility.
2. Content/Editorial Calendar and Plan: create a content plan with relevant and informational articles scheduled along a theme or plan. Tie your articles and content together with complimentary articles. Plan your calendar for special events or product releases, seasonal events, etc. and plan for social network content.
3. Blog: if you have a blog, make sure you are creating content at least weekly and preferably more often.
4. Social networks: if you are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus, that’s great. Review your pages and make sure they are up to date, the “About” information is correct, and freshen up your graphics. If you don’t have these pages set up on these social networks, this is a very high priority to get done ASAP.
5. Build Your Social Networks: You can build your LinkedIn network by reaching out to your contacts and clients and asking them to follow your company page. Make sure you are connected to all of them personally too. On Facebook you can run a modest Facebook ad campaign of just a dollar or two a day and get surprisingly good results for adding fans to your company page. On Twitter and Google Plus the best way to build is by active participation – posting great content and following relevant people.
6. Post Content on Social Networks: Start posting your content on your social networks. On Twitter it’s OK to repost content a few times since people may miss it the first time. Tweeting a new blog 2 or 3 times over the course of the first day is fine and again a few times over the next few days. For Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn one post of a new blog is best, otherwise it looks like spam. However, you could repost blogs from several months ago since they are buried in the feed. It’s not just about your latest blog or product release. Post other content too. Post pictures of your staff, customers, events. Make it interesting and fun!
7. Contribute, Share and Participate: Become a great resource for information about your niche. Post content from relevant publications or other blogs that are quality content and interesting. In general, it’s good to publish about 10% to 20% of your own content and 80% content from other high quality sources. There are exceptions, for example if you are a mega brand or entertainment company, then nearly all of your content would be your brand.
8. Guest Posts: Before the recent round of Google updates, Guest Posts were a great way to build links and SEO for your site. Much of the SEO value has been lost for many Guest Posts, but they are still worth doing and some still have SEO value if they are done right.
9. Monitor Activity: Check the metrics for your website and social platforms at least monthly to see how things are going. Find out what’s working and what’s not. Google Analytics will show your website metrics and user behavior. Facebook Insights will provide excellent data, including demographics for your Facebook page. LinkedIn and Twitter have limited data available but you can use third party reporting programs to obtain better reports.
Of course there is much more, but this should get you started on your Cloud Seeding campaign and on your way to better search results, more traffic from social media and much better brand recognition.