The Ideal Length of Everything Online

 Every so often when I’m tweeting or emailing, I’ll think: Should I really be writing so much?

I tend to get carried away. And for the times that I do, it sure would be nice to know if all this extra typing is hurting or helping my cause. I want to stand out on social media, but I want to do it in the right way.

Curious, I dug around and found some answers for the ideal lengths of tweets and titles and everything in between. Many of these could have been answered with “it depends,” but where’s the fun in that? Solid research exists to show the value of writing, tweeting, and posting at certain lengths. We can learn a lot fromscientific social media guidelines like these. Here’s the best of what I found.

The ideal length of a tweet is 100 characters

Whom should you trust when it comes to advice on the ideal length of a tweet? How about Twitter itself?

Twitter’s best practices reference research by Buddy Media about tweet length:100

Advanced Guide to Google Penalty Removal

 Few things put a site owner or an SEO on edge more than the appearance of a Google penalty.

In recent years there has been a regular rollout of major algorithm updates and changes. With the Panda update in 2011, Penguin in 2012, and Hummingbird in 2013, and almost constant smaller updates and data refreshes, it’s difficult to keep up with them all.

Future updates are going to be just as stressful for those who aren’t following these trends, cutting corners with their link-building, and not keeping on top of their link profile by being aware who links to them.

We wanted to make an in-depth guide to Google penalties, what they are, how to avoid them, how to protect yourself from all future changes and mostly how to rectify the situation if your site is penalised.

You want to get your rankings back? Follow our advice and you will.

WHO IS THIS GUIDE FOR?

You might be a business owner with an online store, an employee working in the internet marketing department of a FTSE 100, or a freelance

Tips to Create a Winning Content Promotion Plan

 Planning

A good promotion plan begins with audience research and the development of targeted messaging.

Audience Research

If you have the time and budget, doing research like survey analysis is really helpful. At BuzzStream, we’re a bit more informal. Our planning stage usually involves a discussion of who we’re creating the content for and what their needs are. We use analytics data from previous pieces, information about what we’ve seen performing well on Twitter, and insight from conversations we’ve had with customers.

We segment our audiences based on the value they’ll get from the content. For example, one group might be new to online marketing and would use the guide to level up their skills. Another group might be people in charge of outreach teams who could incorporate our guide into their training materials. A third group might be influencers who don’t really need to learn anything new but who appreciate good outreach content to share with their followers. These segments become the foundation for influencer lists and outreach messaging.

Messaging

Before beginning content creation, you should spend some time thinking about what

Tips to Choose a Web Designer

When you’re self-employed, choosing a website designer is a crucial decision, as a good website can bring you more business and a bad one can drive away prospective customers.

Below are some important things to consider when selecting a website designer for your project.

What Types Of Web Designers Are There?

I don’t think there is an “official” definition, so I’ll give you MY definition:

  • Website Designer – helps you to determine the page layout, graphics, text location and colors of your site, as well as the navigation and how pages will cross-link to one another. He may also do the actual computer programming and graphic art work for the site, or may hire out that work to a programming specialist. A Website Designer is the project manager for your site design.
  • Website Programmer – takes the design from the Designer and creates the code to make the site run. She is also responsible for all the technical stuff that happens behind-the-scenes to make sure the site works properly for your visitors.
  • Graphic Designer/Artist – creates or choose the graphics for the site, including page layout, colors, logo, photos, illustrations, etc. Think of this person

7 Free Tools to Manage Your Internet Marketing

Everyone needs a little help with implementing and tracking their internet marketing endeavors.

Here are 7 tools that will make it easier. I use these every day, so I can vouch for their effectiveness:

  1. Google Analytics — If you don’t track the results of your marketing, you might as well not be marketing at all. Google Analytics gives you a great overview of your site’s statistics plus some very nitty-gritty details that help you track internet marketing campaigns.
  2. XML Sitemap Generator — If you want good search engine rankings, Google likes it if you have an XML sitemap on your site. You don’t have to worry about what XML is, just use this generator and it will create the XML file for your site (up to 500 pages per site).
  3. BrowserShots — Are you aware that your site looks completely different on some browsers? Use this browser compatibility tool to see how your site looks in Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. For some real comparisons, check older versions with newer ones (like IE6 versus IE8). Why check older versions? Because 20 percent of people have IE6 loaded on their computer, even

Top 7 Internet Marketing Strategies

As digital marketing is becoming more and more necessary for a company, not understanding the best way to drive your business forward can really hurt your chances of success. If you are looking for a way to improve your digital marketing efforts, here are 7 of the highest performing strategies that can bring more people to your website, allow you to connect with new or returning customers, and create a digital marketing strategy that works.

Use the Right Web Design​​

We don’t often think about web design as a marketing tactic, but it can influence the amount of time and attention a user will spend on your page. Your website is the center of all your digital marketing efforts, so if your page is not clean, easy to read, and interesting, it won’t matter how much time you put into strategy development – you’re still going to lose customers. Create a website that is up-to-date, attention-grabbing, and most of all, mobile friendly.

Utilize Search Engine Marketing and Optimization

Search engine marketing and optimization allow your name and website to appear on a list of search engine results. With a strong SEO strategy, your company website will become

6 Must-Do’s for Effective Social Media Marketing

A lot of businesses do social media marketing wrong. They hear everyone screaming, “You must have a social media presence,” but what that entails isn’t always spelled out correctly. Social media marketing should be effective and affordable, and when done correctly, it can help scale businesses of all sizes.

Just like with traditional channels such as television commercials, radio spots and print ads, your results are going to be minimal at best if you broadcast your message to the wrong audience. To help you execute a successful social media marketing campaign, I spoke with six entrepreneurs to put together a list of must-do’s.

1. Dedicate time to learn how social media works.

There are a lot of social media marketing tips available online, from free content on websites like this one to paid courses you can complete at your convenience. It’s not very complicated if you take the time to educate yourself.

Charles Gumbley, Director of Flower Telecom, explains, “It’s important that you take the time to learn how social media marketing works for your specific business. While the fundamentals are similar across the board, different businesses will have to alter their strategies slightly in

4 Marketing Lessons Entrepreneurs

The internet has recently been taken over by a very tall and overly pregnant lady.

You may have heard of her. Her name is April. April the Giraffe. This chick has taken over the internet, with pregnant human women going viral for impersonating her.

April is a powerful woman, as I assume most pregnant women are.

Almost 100,000 people are tuning in on YouTube at any given minute to see if she’s birthed her fourth calf yet. When someone or something can garner the accumulative attention of millions, it’s worth taking note.

And while April is undeniably powerful, she is not nearly as powerful as the creative team behind her at Animal Adventure Park. Here are four lessons you can borrow from Animal Adventure Park to spark your own sensation.

1. Your ordinary is someone else’s extraordinary.

You frequently forget there are things you find common and ordinary that others simply find extraordinary. This is the main basis for why Animal Adventure Park’s livestream has captivated so many, hitting headlines daily for over a week. Giraffes give birth on a regular basis. Or, at least I assume so.

Since April has

Tips Marketers Optimize Their Social Content

It may have taken some of them a while, but businesses have finally caught on to the importance of social media. According to Social Media Examiner’s 2014 Social Media Industry Report, 97 percent of businesses use social media for marketing purposes, and 92 percent feel that it’s important to their success.

But even as companies ramp up their social media efforts, they continue to struggle with how to best optimize social content to achieve desired business outcomes: 91 percent say they have difficulty deciding which specific tactics are most effective, according to the same report.

To better understand which strategies marketers are currently using to optimize social media content (and to gauge the effectiveness of these strategies), Software Advice has partnered with Adobe to create the first-ever Social Media Content Optimization Survey.

We also shared the 182 results we received from marketers with Liz Strauss, founder and CEO of SOBCon, who was ranked seventh on Forbes’ 2013 list of “Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers.” Her insights are included along with our analysis below.

Key Findings:

  1. Most marketers (84 percent) routinely post on at least three social media networks, with 70 percent posting

The Ultimate List of IFTTT Recipes for Marketers

Recipe Prep

Most of the recipes that we’ve prepared here require a bit of pre-IFTTT prep. Here are two valuable tools that you’ll see used over and over again in these recipes.

  • Visual Ping: This tool will notify you when there is a visual change on a website, web page, or even just a area of a web page.
  • Page2RSS: This tool will convert any web page – even if the page doesn’t publish a feed of its own – to an RSS feed, so that you can easily subscribe.

A Note on Notification

Almost all of the THAT steps in our recipes below are means of notification. When writing these recipes, we selected what we thought were the most applicable forms of notification, but you should select whichever works best for you. It basically comes down to how quickly you’d like to be notified.

  • For example, if your site has been hacked, you’ll want to know ASAP, so you’ll probably want your alert to be a text message/SMS.
  • For something that you want to keep track of every day, an email might be the best notification for you.
  • If it’s something that you’ll

7 Ways to Beat the Facebook Algorithm

1. Share Great Content

The old adage remains true – (quality) content is king. (Sorry about the cliché, Elisa.) If you post awesome content, your chances of being liked and shared increases, boosting your presence in Facebook news feeds. Many of Facebook’s algorithm tweaks are aimed at weeding out what Facebook deems “low quality content,” like memes. For greater reach, opt instead for quality content from news sites. It’s a bit bourgeois for Facebook to assume CNN articles are always classy and memes are always pond scum, but we don’t get much choice in how Facebook adjusts its algorithm. My suggestion? Ramp up on your own original high-quality content with e-books, blog posts, white papers, etc.

2. Use Facebook Ads

With organic reach down, now is the perfect time to experiment with Facebook advertising. Facebook has revamped their ad system to be easier than ever to use. Paid Facebook ads can appear right in a user’s newsfeed, seamlessly blending with organic posts while boasting better reach. They’ve also introduced a newad relevance score (basically Quality Score for Facebook.) Give them a shot and see how they perform. Facebook ads are perfect for companies operating in

Great Strategies to Get More Email Subscribers

The 1 big idea: Make it ridiculously easy to sign up

I’ve got this idea about email marketing, and it goes something like this:

  • Create amazing content that people want to read all the time
  • Ask permission to send amazing content to people’s emails.
  • Ask again.
  • Ask a couple more times.

Basically, if you’ve got great content and you make it easy for people to sign up for email updates, you should begin to see significant list growth.

We’re hopeful that we’re headed down a good path with creating amazing content here at the Buffer blog. It’s an ongoing process for us, and we’re always open for ways to improve. (hint, hint) As for the second part of the email equation …

We knew we could make it easier for our happy readers to sign up for email updates.

So we did.

Here’s how it went.

Double the list growth in only 30 days

We implemented several changes to our email signup forms in July (see below), so we had the opportunity to easily compare growth from the previous months to growth in July. Previously, in May and June, we had averaged

3 Steps for Explosive Online Marketing Growth

Many business owners are under the impression that online marketingis extremely complicated because some online marketing efforts fail miserably, while others are responsible for massive returns. They assume performance is related to the marketing budget, what is being marketed and who it’s being marketed to.

Sure, that can all come into play, but it’s more about the marketing strategy.

It doesn’t matter if you are a small mom-and-pop shop with a budget of $1,000 per month or a large brand spending six figures monthly — the same three steps will contribute to a successful marketing effort. Let’s look at each one.

1. Identify the perfect customer for your product or service.

You need to determine who your ideal customer is and what problem you are solving. For example, my performance-based agency works with larger brands, spending at least $50,000 monthly on paid ads and typically relying heavily on Facebook. So, we know we have to target large brands with healthy budgets currently advertising on Facebook and interested in a performance-based relationship.

When you are very specific with who you target, it allows you to create a message and offer that speaks directly to that target. You must also

4 Steps to Creating Effective Online Videos

1. Develop a script.

One way you can avoid stage fright on camera is by developing a script before you hit that record button. Developing a script for a business video sounds way more fancy than it is. Basically, the goal of writing your script is not to develop an elaborate essay. Rather, it’s to create a detailed outline about the bullet points you want to mention in your video.

So how do you actually go about creating a script? Well, the first step is coming up with your specific topic idea. Without worrying about form or layout, begin to write down supporting details of your topic. Once you have a satisfying amount of supporting details, you then begin to work on the layout.

It is a good practice to begin with the main message you are trying to convey, then start flowing into the supporting details. Once you come up with all your ideas, organize them in a way that makes sense for your audience.

Take your organized ideas and begin to lay them out in a script format. Remember, though, this is not an essay. You want to make sure this

7 Social Media Secrets Every Entrepreneur Should Know

When I first stepped into the world of social media marketing, I thought it was as easy as putting together a list of Facebook posts and hitting publish. I was dead wrong.

Good social media is evocative and connects with your specific audience on a deeper level. Just as businesses add value to customers’ lives delivering products and services, the best social media campaigns add value to their demographics.

If you want to truly stand out from the rest, here are the eight secret avenues I have learned over the years that can lead you to big success with your social media strategy:

1. Know yourself

Most marketers overlook a very basic principle when it comes to social media: understanding their own company, its strengths and weaknesses and its desired place in the market. Being open and honest with yourself on what you are good at is the most important thing to not just social media, but all aspects of business. You must first identify the following before becoming successful on social media:

  • Your goals and intentions with social media
  • Your audience
  • What your audience cares about
  • What you know a lot about
  • What content type matches your team’s personality, culture

Tips to Optimize Your Product Online

If you want to generate consistent sales, you need to optimize your product listings. Here’s how.

Get your customers to refer their friends.

Your customers aren’t going to tell their friends about your business unless there’s a compelling reason. Every sales professional knows the power of getting referrals from paying customers; it’s a good way to find new customers and open a larger market.

Crazy Egg suggests offering referral discounts to boost sales. It notes that both Optimizely and Airbnb have tested similar offers where customers could earn credit by referring a friend. Optimizely was able to increase its engagement by 60 percent just by changing the copy for its button. Airbnb tried a closed-beta program that brought in an additional 2,107 members from its original 2,161. Essentially, for every customer it already had, it brought in another.

So, whether you offer cash credit or a discount, a referral program with these rewards may help you double your results without doubling the money you put into your marketing. The exact amount you offer your customers will depend on how much they’ll be spending with you and on your profit margin.

Build trust and credibility with your website

Brilliant Ways to Use #Hashtags in Social Media Marketing

I was watching the Super Bowl (#GoHawks) when my wife asked me about hashtags. Granted, I was writing down every hashtag that came up on the screen for an analysis I did later that night, but her question surprised me.

“What do you mean ‘what is this?’ It’s a hashtag.” I said, amazed by my wife’s unfamiliarity with the topic (#DoYouLiveUderARock). “You use it to tag your tweets or other social media posts.”

Now, my wife’s social media activity revolves around reading other people’s updates on Facebook and Instagram, so I wasn’t mad or anything, just disappointed when she asked me “Why would you want to tag your posts?”

To be fair, it wasn’t always that obvious that hashtags will change the way we use Twitter and other social media channels.

Hashtags were a user-innovation that was later adopted by Twitter as an actual feature when Twitter decided to hyperlink hashtags to search results. The rest of the socialsphere followed in its own pace, and Facebook, my wife’s go-to social destination, only recently decided to give in and add hashtags as a feature. It’s no surprise that for the masses over the age of

5 Social Media Marketing Strategies

Why Use Social Media for Marketing?

As a product of the Mark Zuckerberg generation, it is easy to understand why people are so obsessed with social media; for marketers, the potential to grow their business via these networks is endless. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ – these are some of the prime networks every company, big or small, young or established, needs to have an active presence on. It is now inexcusable for any business that wants to thrive to not be tweeting!

And now we are being exposed to more and more social advertisements. As I complete my morning ritual of sipping coffee and scrolling through my Instagram feed, I now notice sponsored ads appearing in between filtered pictures of scenery and food. It is impossible to visit one’s Facebook news feed without popping into a few compelling ads along the way. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve fallen victim to several of these ads, and been captured and clicked through to their site, sometimes even converting – shameful, I know.

But before diving into paid social ads, it is important to build out your social channels with rockstar content, quality customer service,

An Open Letter To The New SEO Generation

SEO is almost 20 years old. Can you believe it? There’s some argument about when the practice started, as well as when the term itself was coined, including a failed patent attempt from 2007; but most industry old-timers put the birth of SEO at around 1995.

So, after almost 20 years, what do we have to show for it? SEO has matured in some aspects; it’s now a line item on the budget of most Fortune 500 companies. I’ve been in SEO since 2000, and I am grateful that now when I tell people what I do, I can just use the terms “SEO” or “internet marketer,” and don’t have to rely on my old standby of “I work with computers. I could explain more, but I’d need charts and an easel.”

It always got a laugh but made me feel distinctly out of place. Now at any given gathering, I’m likely to find someone who says “SEO? Oh, we’re seeking a new firm. Do you have a card?”

In other ways, SEO has earned a bad name, with pretty much everyone having been burned by some unscrupulous “SEO” that has promised the moon but delivered

Beginner’s Guide to Link Building

We could tell you all about how high-quality, authoritative links pointing to your site benefit your standing in the SERPs, but instead we’ll just copy the words straight from the proverbial horse’s mouth:

Link building is one area of SEO that has changed significantly over the last several years; some tactics that were once effective are now easily identifiable and penalized by Google. At the same time, earning links remains vital to success in search marketing: Link authority features showed the strongest correlation with higher rankings in our 2013 ranking factors survey. For that reason, it has never been more important for marketers to truly earn their links, and this guide will have you building effective campaigns in no time.


What you’ll learn

1. What is Link Building, and Why Is It Important?

This is where it all begins. If you’re brand new to link building and aren’t sure whether or not it’s a good tactic to include in your marketing repertoire, give this chapter a look. Even the more seasoned link earners among us could use a refresher from time to time, and here we cover everything from what links mean to search engines to the various ways they can help your business’s bottom line.