7 Rules for Recovery after Penguin, Panda, and Other Google Updates

Recovering from Google Panda Penguin UpdatesIn the past year, Google has rolled out a few major updates that significantly impacted many of us in the blogging/SEO/internet marketing world. Penguin, Panda, and the more recent EMD update were algorithmic improvements designed to improve the Google search experience. To achieve that, some of the underlying assumptions that we (as web designers, developers, and bloggers) relied upon had to change. And a lot of people were hurt by this. Reading the forums and comments might lead you to believe that these updates were destructive tidal waves that bankrupted thousands and had businesses shuttering their doors all over the world.

The Truth About Google’s Updates

The basic truth about Penguin and Panda (and even EMD) is that there were way, way too many people who were gaming the system to make money. They were all operating on this basic formula, which had become a proven money maker over the past decade:

  1. Research and create a niche site with a keyword-rich domain
  2. Build a handful of pages targeting relevant keywords
  3. Get some backlinks any way that you can
  4. Rank high in search engine result pages, get tons of traffic
  5. Rake in the dough with Adsense or affiliate marketing program

The problem when you have thousands of people exploiting this scheme over years’ time is that it creates a lot of crap on the web. As the article Why I Love Google Panda over at SEOmoz points out, Google search results had suffered. Any time you searched for something, you got SERPs loaded with domains almost exactly matching your query, almost no content, and plenty of links or ads to make money from you. Google, as a search engine, was failing. Hence the updates. Ask just about any end user of the search engine, and they’ll tell you that the search results have gotten better.

Tips for Recovery

If you were hit by any of these updates, you’re not alone, nor is it game over for you. There are a number of steps you can take to recover. I know this because I’ve gone through this process with one of my sites that was hit, and have seen a slow but steady recovery in search traffic. It wasn’t easy, but it can be done.

 

1. Follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines

First and foremost, you should look over Google’s webmaster guidelines to make sure you’re in line with these. Most are common sense things to make your site informative, useful, and easily navigated:

  • Design the site with a hierarchy and make sure there’s a static link to every page
  • Provide a site map and make sure Google finds it
  • Use descriptive, accurate Title and ALT tags.
  • Check to make sure that all links work and all pages load quickly

Also, Google has a laundry list of things that you should NOT do. Go through this point-by-point and make sure you’re not:

  • Automatically generating content, i.e. scraping content from other sites
  • Participating in link schemes or paying for links
  • Cloaking or using sneaky redirects
  • Keyword stuffing or targeting irrelevant keywords
  • Using affiliate links without adding significant value
You might have a trick or two up your sleeve that you think is clever, but not deceptive or unfair. Should you proceed? Here Google provides a good rule of thumb: Don’t do anything you’d be uncomfortable explaining to one of your competitors or to a Google employee.

 

2. Continually add unique, fresh content

One reason that sites may see a general decline in Google rankings and traffic over time is that their content is stale. Google likes sites with content that’s new, unique, long (>500 words), and relevant to keywords people are searching with. Do a little research, find keyword phrases you can go after, and write great content to target them. Some of the pros write 5-10 articles per day and add them to their sites. That’s what it take to compete.

 

3. Build good links, avoid low-quality ones

The era of exploiting forums, directories, and other user-generated content to get links is over. Those not only won’t help your site any more, they might hurt it. A single link from a reputable site is worth a hundred forum posts where you link to your own site. One tried-and-true strategy that I still believe in is guest posting. Find blogs or sites that have content related to yours, and send a polite e-mail with a proposal of a guest post topic. Join the very nice and free Blogger Link Up service to get bi-weekly e-mails of blogs looking for guest posts.

 

4. Engage social media

It seems obvious that “social signals” will play an important role in search engine rankings in the future, and they already drive a substantial proportion of web traffic now. For me, it’s hard to gauge how much you get out of social media promotion-type stuff for the amount of time it takes. One thing I will tell you is that making social media sharing of your content easy won’t hurt. I like the Sociable plugin but there are many ways to do this.

 

5. Improve your users’ experience

One metric that is within your control and used by Google to rank sites is the bounce rate. That’s the fraction of users who come to your site and hit the Back button within 30 seconds. You can measure the bounce rate using Google Analytics. There are plenty of reasons you might have a high one; here are just a few:
  • Your site has a clunky design or is hard to navigate
  • The content doesn’t match the user’s intent for a keyword query
  • The page loads too slowly
  • Your good content is “below the fold” meaning a user has to scroll down
  • There are too many prominent ads or sales pitches

 

6. Ask for Reconsideration

If you feel that your site has been unfairly penalized by Google, or if it was [fairly] penalized and you’ve made the necessary corrections, you can submit a reconsideration request to Google’s team. There are no guarantees here; they field so many of these that they don’t even promise a response to your request. But if there was a manual spam action of some kind and it’s no longer justified, you might succeed in getting it removed.
One of my sites was hit hard by a Penguin update and later by the EMD update. Eventually I submitted a reconsideration request. Within about a week, I received a reply: No manual spam actions found. So at least I know that I’m not being actively penalized. I’m just not as competitive as I’d like to be in a post-Penguin world.

 

7. Find alternative sources of traffic

If these updates from Google have taught us anything, it’s that relying on a single source of traffic for your web business is a recipe for failure. A single update, even (gasp) one that unfairly penalizes your site could bring disaster. You need to branch out to other sources of traffic and web attention:

  • Social media sites, which I’ve already mentioned above. A strong foothold here can bring a lot of traffic.
  • Other search engines. Bing/Yahoo and other players are out there, all of them with an eye on market share.
  • E-mail lists. Building an e-mail list is perhaps the most “algorithm-proof” source of traffic, because you build an opt-in audience for your content.
  • Off-web advertising. It never hurts to put your URL in e-mail signatures, on business cards, even on billboards. It seems indirect, but it can bring traffic.

If you have any other suggestions (or have seen success) in recovering after Google updates, they’d be welcome! Please use the comments section below.

Posted in Blogging by eruditesys. No Comments

Everything Has Gone Mobile, Even Babies

Today while riding in the carpool home from work, I watched a YouTube video of a turtle eating a praying mantis, all on my buddy’s cell phone. Just a couple of years ago, it was inconceivable that one could get the internet bandwidth on a cell phone to stream YouTube, much less have a retina display to view it in high definition. And yet today, everything has gone mobile.

More and more people are using small mobile devices – phones, Ipods, Ipads, and the like – as their primary portal to the internet. This paradigm shift has changed the competitive landscape of the web. To be a serious contender at just about anything online virtually requires supporting mobile devices. Some of the powerhouses of social media, such as Twitter, were literally built around mobile communication.

The iPhone, perhaps more than any other device, has helped fuel this paradigm shift. Here was a smartphone in a class of its own, with a camera and Apple’s slick interface to the internet. And the apps would follow. Now, you can snap a photo, crop it, post it to Facebook, and then tweet it from your iPhone in about 30 seconds.

Wireless technology has even permeated into the world of newborn parenting. High-tech wireless video monitors let parents watch their sleeping infants around the clock, with color video, night vision, and two-way audio. All that’s missing is an internet connection.

 

Posted in Blogging Internet Marketing by eruditesys. No Comments

Mourning the Death of Pinterest

It seems like just a few weeks ago that Pinterest shone in the role of social media darling. SEOs and internet marketers loved it. All of the blogs were talking about it. Even big corporations were taking a serious look. And, from the perspective of an end user, I loved it. You could spend hours perusing images of cute kids, epic tree houses, and faraway places. The innocent part of me thought, “This is wonderful.” The jaded part of me thought, “It’s only a matter of time until profiteers ruin it.”

Ladies and gentlemen, that time has come.

Spam Has Taken Over Pinterest

If you’re a regular Pinterest user, you’ve seen it. The spammers and bots have taken over Pinterest entirely. For every legitimate pin on the Everything board, there are five spammy ones. Take a look at this screenshot of the Everything Kids board, taken a few minutes ago:

Spamming and the Death of Pinterest

There are a couple of legitimate pins here, but most of them are spam attempting to drive traffic to sites running Adsense ads. You can spot these pins fairly easily, as they exhibit some commonalities:

  • It’s usually a stock photo of something cute or gross or striking, to grab your attention
  • The comment that comes with the pin is a tagline of some sort, hoping to get you to click.
  • The Pinner accounts have names that seem made up, like “Agnes Strange” and “Willa Golla”.
  • Their boards all have the same name. In this case, “Kids”.

This is too much volume, too fast, to be a single person or small group of people that are beating the system. No, clearly there are lots of spammers, and they’re being aided with bots.

Confessions of a Pinterest Exploiter

An interesting article on Mashable interviews a confessed Pinterest spammer, who has been exploiting the site since February to make thousands of dollars through Amazon affiliates. He has thousands of spambots pinning things on Pinterest at any given time. In the past couple of months he’s cleared as much as $1900 a day.

This is just one person whose exploits were highlighted in the news. You can just imagine how many people are doing the same and getting away with it. I’m told that there are organizations that sell Pinterest bots specifically for spamming the site with thousands of pins.

The Loss of A Powerful Social Media Tool

Pinterest, for its part, seems unable to stop the onslaught of attacks. The site is literally unusable right now. Not only do very few legitimate pins make the big boards, but don’t bother going there to browse for new content. Spammy posts are all over the boards. It’s sickening. As a Pinterest user, I’m heartbroken to have to walk away.

As a developer, I’m acutely disappointed at the loss of such a promising marketing tool. Pinterest was unique because it had a new, visually-centric take on social media. And its majority demographic is an ideal target market for many companies. The idea of connecting with a company or service provider on Pinterest is rather appealing – you can browse around and see what they have to offer, without constantly being asked to “Like” them on Facebook.

There were many, many internet marketers and SEOs working quietly on building web presences for clients with Pinterest as a cornerstone strategy. But most didn’t abuse it.

Sadly, these bot developers, spammers, and exploiters have ruined Pinterest for all of us.

Posted in Internet Marketing Social Media by eruditesys. No Comments

How Pinterest is Alienating Its Users

PinterestLast week I loved Pinterest. It was the most inventive, addictive, and unique social media site I’d seen. The community was huge, and I’d had some success with internet marketing on Pinterest to promote one of my web sites. My list of followers was growing, and a lot of my web traffic came from pinterest.com. I was infatuated with Pinterest.

This week I hate it.

Over the past several days, I’ve become acutely aware of some issues that Pinterest faces. Issues that are causing an outcry among its users and probably causing them to flee like rats on a sinking ship.

The Everything Boards Are Broken

In theory, sharing content and building a following on Pinterest is simple. You pin something to one of your boards, and it goes to two places:

  1. Your board’s current followers. The default view when you log in to Pinterest is “Pinners You Follow” so you’re usually looking at things that have been pinned by people you chose to follow. The advantage is that your board’s followers are interested in it. The disadvantage is that they’re only a tiny fraction of Pinterest users, and most of them probably aren’t online. You might get a handful of repins, likes, or comments, but not much.
  2. The Everything board. If you’ve uploaded or pinned something new from the web, it also goes to the “big board” – the Everything board – for your board’s category. Pinterest users who are browsing for something new are looking at this. Your pin has a brief, fleeting chance (10-15 minutes) to be seen by hundreds or thousands of active users. This is where pins go viral.

To prevent abuse and spamming, the Everything board seems to have some rules. Repins (where you see something already on Pinterest and put it on one of your boards) don’t go there. Supposedly, one new pin per user per category per hour should make the everything board. In my experience, the waiting time seems closer to two hours.

I try to follow these rules because, if you don’t make the everything board, you usually get few repins, likes, and comments. You often get none at all. This is why it’s frustrating that, for the past two days, none of my pins have gone to the Everything board.

Update: An article on the 97th floor explains the new, shockingly unfair Pinterest algorithm.

I tried putting in a Pinterest support ticket, which led me to encounter a second, more serious issue.

Pinterest Support Is Terrible

You can put in a support ticket without any trouble. But don’t expect to hear back soon, or perhaps ever. This was the automatically generated e-mail I got when I reported a problem:

Thanks for contacting Pinterest Support. This message confirms we’ve received your request, which will be reviewed by our team as soon as possible.

Due to high volume, we’re currently unable to respond to all messages. Answers to frequently asked questions and known issues are available at http://support.pinterest.com/. Please do not open multiple tickets for the same issue; reply to this message to request an update instead.

Our top priority is account login issues. We review bug and spam reports for trends which we then identify and resolve; most issues are resolved within 48 hours. We review product ideas and feedback for key learnings we can share with our team.

We value our users and are putting the pieces and team in place to respond to messages more quickly. Thanks for understanding, and thanks for using Pinterest.

This is about one of the most disappointing support interactions I’ve ever received! Let me see if I understand this correctly:

  • Pinterest staff might review my problem, but they may not respond to it. Why should I report problems if you won’t let me know if or how you plan to fix them?
  • Pinterest only cares about users logging in. In other words, they want you to be able to access the site but any problems you might have after that are unimportant.
  • There are so many bugs that they’re “trended” rather than being fixed individually. Wow.

From the articles and blog posts I’ve read about Pinterest recently, it is clear that they’ve had some usability and site operation issues. Growing pains, many call them. I’m less concerned about that and more concerned that they are either not staffed or not motivated to properly address the problems of users.

Pinterest Changes Things on a Whim

On March 16, the Pinterest Blog announced several design changes to user profiles and boards. On the profile page, the user’s photo is now huge and there’s a new section (“Repins From”) listing the three people whose pins the user “repins” the most. These were fairly innocuous changes, though the photo change seems unnecessary and the “Repins From” seems rather random.

Pinterest Board ChangesMore noticeably, they altered the way that boards are displayed by taking the most recent pin, stretching it, cropping it, and putting it above four thumbnails of other recent pins. You can see how well this works out in the image at right, which is the current view of my Babies & Sleeping board on Pinterest.

On their blog, the Pinterest staff write:

We tried more than 20 versions before arriving at the current design. The more we used this new layout as a team here in Palo Alto, the more we enjoyed it.

Judging by over 500 comments on their blog, Pinterest’s users simply hate this new design. Many complain that the cropping of a single image doesn’t work out well, which is apparent on my own board, and that randomly choosing the most recent pin might not faithfully represent the board.

As I said, there were over 500 comments, and absolutely no response from Pinterest. Which brings me to the next issue:

Pinterest Doesn’t Listen to Its Users

There was no user poll about the design changes, as far as I can tell. There was no preview period. Instead, the new designs were thrust upon Pinterest users without warning. There were hundreds of complaints in the comments section of the Pinterest blog about the new design. Then, when Pinterest failed to respond, the users began to complain about that. Given my experience with Pinterest support, I wasn’t too surprised by their silence.

Meanwhile, perhaps due to the redesign and technical issues, traffic on Pinterest has been plummeted, as measured by pins, comments, and user activities. A lot of people have noticed this. I personally have been on Pinterest less because of the Everything board issues. Watching it, watching the boards, I get the impression that others, too, are staying away from Pinterest until the ship settles.

 

 

Posted in Internet Marketing Social Media by eruditesys. 3 Comments

Building Website Content with WordPress

WordPress is an extremely flexible system for managing website designs and content. Once you start your blog or website with WordPress, you’ll undoubtedly want to start publishing things on it. All of those great ideas will be fighting with one another for their chance to be shared with the world. This is a guide to building your website content so that visitors to your site can find what they’re looking for.

WordPress Posts and Pages

There are two basic types of content that you’ll have on your WordPress site: pages and posts. These are very similar, especially when you configure WordPress to provide permanent links (permalinks) for all pages. I recommend, however, that you create a handful of Pages and use Posts for the rest of your content. On the blogs and websites that I’ve built, I have only about 5-7 pages, but I have dozens or hundreds of posts.

Pages: For Static Information

Typically, you’ll want to limit the number of pages to less than ten, and these will be static pages that you write once. Many of the WordPress design themes will list your pages across the top of every page or in the sidebar, which is another reason that you’ll want to limit the number of these. To get you started, however, here are some pages that you should set up:

  1. The “About Me” or “About Us” page. This has become almost a requirement for any website or blog, to tell visitors who you are and why you’ve created this web site. You can have contact information here, but you don’t have to. Instead, use this opportunity to connect with readers. Tell them why they should read your blog posts or have faith in your reviews. What are your qualifications? How is your website different from the other billions out there?
  2. Disclaimer or User Agreement. We all like to cover ourselves legally, which is why it’s a good idea to have a basic disclaimer page. Your goal with such a page is to tell visitors that they use your site at their own risk and of their own free will, and by doing so release you from being held accountable for anything that might happen because of their visit. If you link to any third party sites, such as Amazon, you mention that you’re not responsible for what might happen there. You make it clear that your website makes no promises. Speaking of which, I’m not a lawyer and not qualified to give any advice in this area, so do your homework and come up with a good disclaimer.
  3. Site Map or Article Index. If someone likes what they read on your web site, they might be interested in another article. How about all of your articles? You can create a single index page with links to every article, review, blog post, etc. on your site. Search engines like this too, and will use it to index your website more completely.

Posts: For Everything Else

Most of the content that you put up on your site should be as “Posts”. Don’t think of these as transient, blog-style articles that are published once and never seen again. You’ll link to them from future posts, in the sidebar, and on your articles index. You’ll point to them from your Delicious account, Facebook, and other social media. You might link to them from a guest post on someone else’s blog. Bottom line, you can ensure that posts are just as visible as pages are.

It’s just easier to put your content in Posts because WordPress has all kinds of features built around them. There are widgets, for example, that will display your most recent posts on the front page of your web site. Others will show your most popular posts in the sidebar, like a running competition. Visitors will click on these.

Tips for Building Good Website Content

Some websites are better than others. Some are memorable, some are forgettable. Your goal in building website content should be to engage, intrigue, and inform your readers. Here are some tips for how to do just that.

  • Start with an informative title. The title of a post should be detailed enough to let the reader know what it’s about. It should contain some keywords for the search engines to pick up. And whenever possible, the title should grab attention. Challenge a popular opinion. Look at the most recent posts on a popular blog, and you’ll begin to learn how they do this.
  • Plan for at least 300 words. Shorter than that, and your new post may not have enough substance to ever rank in search engines (or keep a reader’s attention). I’d say 300 words is a minimum, but 500 is better and 800-1000 is ideal.
  • Use formatting to break up big blocks of text. Notice how this section is a bulleted list? Divide your text into sections with headers. Take advantage of the easy-to-use formatting tools in your WordPress editor. Numbered lists, new paragraphs, the use of bold and italics, all of these things make your content more appealing to read.
  • Write with an audience in mind. I hate giving this advice, but it’s something you should try to do: think about who might be visiting your website (and this article in particular). What are they looking for? How do you appeal to them? Try to make the tone of your article “fit” the reader.
  • Use images and graphics. Everyone likes a break from text, if just to see a pretty picture. You can also make charts and infographics that entertain or inform readers. Be careful with images, however: they load much more slowly than text.
  • Link to other posts and other websites. You have a limited amount of time, perhaps 2 minutes, to get the reader to do something else. Ideally, you want them to visit another page on your site. This is why you should cross-link to other posts and pages that are related to your current one. Do this within the text, and have a “What to Read Next” section at the end with links to related or popular pages on your site. You should also occasionally “share the love” and link to external web sites. It will make those website owners happy, and maybe they’ll like back to you.
That’s enough to get you started. Good luck!

 

 

Posted in Blogging Web Design by eruditesys. No Comments

Start A Website with WordPress in 20 minutes

So, you’d like to start a blog or web site? A few years ago, building a web site required programming skills and technical expertise. Now, virtually anyone with a computer can do it. In this guide, I’ll show you how to start a web site – design it, build it, and share it with the world – in about 20 minutes.
Contents
Set up domain name and hosting
Activate the WordPress application
Choose a design theme
Configure a few things in WordPress

Set up domain name and hosting

Your web site needs a home, in the form of web hosting, and a way for people to find it, in the form of a domain name. Yes, you can start a web site on WordPress for free, but you won’t nearly have the control over it that you could with your own site. It doesn’t take any special skills, either. You’ll need two things for your new website: a domain name and web hosting.

The domain name is just the URL that you reserve for your website. Someone types the address, and the registrar points them to your site. Right now these are on sale for $7.99 (annually) at GoDaddy.com.

Web hosting is the service that lets your web site stay up on the web, available worldwide for 24 hours a day. I recommend GoDaddy’s hosting, which has tons of features and runs about $5-6 per month. This is the basic cost of running your web site, but a lot comes with it:

  • 10 GB of space for your web site files. Unless you post a lot of videos or other large files, this is plenty of space for your web site.
  • 100 e-mail accounts at your domain name.
  • $200 in advertising credits on Google, Bing, and Facebook to help promote your web site.
So, you’ll pay about $76 to set up your web site, but you’ll get more than twice that in free advertising. Once you register a domain name and set up hosting, you can start building your web site right away. Just log into your GoDaddy account and click the “My Account” section:

 

How to start a blog hosting account

 

Here you can manage your domain names, e-mail, and web hosting. Click on the Web Hosting section and you’ll see your newly created account:

 

How to start a website hosting

 

Activate the WordPress application

How to start a blog with wordpressI like GoDaddy hosting because they offer a number of hosted applications that your web site gets for free.

WordPress is number one on the list. This open source software was originally developed for blogging, but you can use it to design and manage a web site very easily. Here’s why you should:

  1. You can design and edit your web site with no technical expertise
  2. Thousands of free add-ons and plugins are available for WordPress
  3. GoDaddy keeps your WordPress software up-to-date
  4. Thousands upon thousands of websites are managed with WordPress. There’s an active community and lots of help out there if you need it.

 

If you click on WordPress from your control panel, you’ll be taken to this view. Note the INSTALL NOW button on the bottom right of the page. Click it!
Build a wordpress blog or website
Then WordPress will walk you through the creation of some databases that will store your web site’s information. You’ll be asked to choose a username and password to access the database. Follow the prompts; it’s very easy to do.

 

Choose a design theme

Once you get the e-mail that your WordPress has been set up (this takes a few minutes), you’re ready to start designing your new web site. Log in at yourdomain.com/wp-admin.

One of the greatest things about WordPress is that there are hundreds of free “themes” which give your web site a layout, look, and feel. You can browse themes from your WP admin section (Dashboard) by clicking Appearance > Themes on the left-side menu. Then do a search to find a theme that you like. A couple of tips for choosing your web site design:

  • You’ll probably want to start with a 2-column layout theme. This gives you a main section to hold your content, and a sidebar to help users navigate your site.
  • Light-colored themes are better for informational web sites where there will be a lot of text. Dark-colored themes are attention-grabbing and often used for visually-oriented websites like fashion or design blogs.
  • Start with a free theme. You can pay for one later if you find one you really like.
  • You can switch themes whenever you want (even after you’ve published pages or posts). They’re completely plug-and-play, so feel free to experiment.

Once you find a theme that might work, click to install and activate it. Voila, your site now has a snappy new design.

Configure a few things in WordPress

Congratulations! Your site is now up on the web with a sample page, a sample post, and the design that you picked out. There are a few things, however, that you should configure before you start putting content out there.

  1. Change the General Settings. Under Settings > General Settings, you’ll see where you can give your website or blog a name (the name of your website) and a “Tagline” (a brief sentence of what your blog is about). For example, you might have a site named “Fashion Diva” with the tagline “Fashion tips and advice for women”. You’ll also put in your e-mail address so that WordPress can notify you of comments on your site and such.
  2. Change your website’s link structure. Go to Settings > Permalinks. Under common settings, change the radio button to “Post name”. Save this setting. Now, your posts won’t be categorized under yourdomain.com/year/month/date/first-post. Instead, they’ll be at yourdomain.com/first-post. Search engines like this, and it also makes your web site easier to bookmark and navigate.
  3. Remove the clutter. Go to Appearance > Widgets. In the middle of the page are all of the available “Widgets” that you can put in your sidebar. These are little display items, like the “Tag Cloud”. Most of the time, all they do is distract visitors. So you should remove most of these from the sidebar. Maybe just start with Recent Posts, Categories, and Meta (which has your login link and RSS feeds for visitors).

That’s enough to get you started. Good luck!

Posted in Blogging Internet Marketing Web Design by eruditesys. 1 Comment

Getting Babies to Sleep Through the Night

Get your baby to sleep at night

Get Your Baby to Sleep

This year we launched a new blog, Get Your Baby to Sleep, to help parents establish healthy sleep habits for their babies. The author of most articles is a father of three children (a 2-year-old girl and twin boys), all of whom were sleeping through the night by the age of 3 months.

Baby Sleep Training

Sleeping habits differ dramatically between babies, even among twins. Some of it may come down to luck. For many parents, however, there are strategies and techniques that can help babies sleep more consistently and for longer overnight. Sleep Training 101 covers many of these in depth to get parents started on the road to healthy baby sleep habits:

  • Nighttime feeding for sleep
  • Establishing a bedtime routine
  • Soothing babies back to sleep
  • Setting an early bedtime

Essential Sleep Gear

Visitors to Get Your Baby to Sleep will also find reviews and product guides to some essential baby gear related to sleeping, such as:

  • Night lights
  • Soothers and sound machines
  • Pacifiers
  • What a newborn should sleep in
  • Mini cribs and bassinets
  • Bedtime baby books

With hundreds of subscribers already, this blog is rapidly gaining a following. Hopefully that means many babies are sleeping through the night, their parents are getting more rest, and the world is a slightly better place.

Posted in Internet Marketing by eruditesys. No Comments

Marketing on Pinterest

Pinterest is an up-and-coming social media site with a visual emphasis, a virtual online “pinboard” on which users pin images and videos onto customized boards. Much like Twitter, the users on Pinterest follow one another’s pinboards, creating a highly interconnected network of people with shared interests.

Internet marketing with Pinterest

Pinterest Demographic

The most important thing you should know about Pinterest users is that nearly all of them are female. According to most estimates, women make up 95-97% of the active Pinterest users. This is often evident, when navigating the site – you don’t see many masculine names on there. The most popular boards tend to be centered around female-dominated topics, including:

  • Family
  • For the home
  • Craft ideas
  • Fashion and style
  • Design
These demographics obviously have important implications for marketing with Pinterest – if your target audience is predominantly male, this site isn’t for you.

How to Market on Pinterest

Many small businesses and a number of larger companies have been establishing presence on Pinterest. Some of the strategies that they and we have found successful include the following:
  1. Attempt to be selfless. Pinterest is a community based on sharing, and altruism (or the appearance of altruism) pays off, in the form of repins and new followers. Conversely, constant self-promotion will earn you negative comments and hemorrhage followers if it goes across the line.
  2. Focus on the links. Every pin on Pinterest has a description and a URL. Ideally, this URL points to the web site from which the image or video was pinned. However, URLs can be edited at any time, and there’s no requirement that the URL point to a page that has the image on it. Leverage this to create sharp, attention-grabbing images to drive traffic to your pages.
  3. Build a resource for your followers. People follow one another on Pinterest because they have a shared interest. Someone who’s chosen to follow your corporate account doesn’t need to be constantly marketed to – they’ve already bought in, so to speak. Instead, seek to inform them about your products, offer news and updates, entertain, and amuse. The business will follow.

Going Viral on Pinterest

One of the best features of Pinterest, and where it differs substantially from SEO, is that the users pick the content. One pin per user per category goes to the general boards, to be seen (briefly) by thousands of active users who are browsing. The holy grail of Pinterest is the “Popular” board, a master category of the most-repinned, most-commented items on Pinterest.
Going viral on pinterest
Importantly, Pinterest users can follow a pin’s link to your web site without repinning or commenting. In fact, items on the main boards may get 5-10 clicks per repin, indicating that people are interested in the subject matter but only transiently. The key message here is to make sure that you pin (and link to) great content, something that motivates the visitor to leave a comment or repin.
And so the old adage from SEO proves true again: Content is King.
Posted in Internet Marketing Social Media by eruditesys. 1 Comment