Let’s Get This Baby Off The Ground

Let’s Get This Baby Off The Ground

Above image: The Far Side, by Gary Larson

I decided to up my blogging by purchasing a domain name and hosted website, where I can improve on the frontend UI/X and backend functionality, such as improving the overall look and feel, and incorporating Google Analytics, allowable scripting, etc.

I transferred my former free blog account (since 2011) from wordpress.com to wordpress.org, via a hosting service out of Arizona Bluehost. For the most part, Bluehost has courteous customer service, but the transfer of my new DNS (Domain Name Server) NewBrandThinking.ca from GoDaddy (Bluehost does not sell .ca domains), took about 24 hours with much confusion.

My 1st phone call to Bluehost last Friday night involved me logging into my GoDaddy account to change the 2 name servers and make them point to Bluehost. Ok. Done.

I was still unable to see a live version of my new website, so my 2nd call to Bluehost that same evening claimed that I needed to visit a website called Global DNS Propagation Checker that indicated propagation status throughout all the relevant 20+ global servers, from USA to Australia, India, Europe, South East Asia, etc. The page showed a majority of red Xs and some green check marks—the former meaning no propagation while the latter was a successful propagation. So I needed to wait.

My side conversation with Bluehost support was telling them that it’s less expensive for us Vancouverites to travel to Arizona, watch the Canucks play, than to see them at a home game in Vancouver. Go figure.

My 3rd call to Bluehost Saturday morning involved an uncanny situation. As I was working on my site, I couldn’t see a live version. More specifically, as I was logged onto my ISP from home, I couldn’t see the site, but as I logged off (on my iPhone’s WiFi) I was able to see the live version. Perplexing.

During this call, the support person had no answer and I was told to contact my ISP and GoDaddy to find out why. So I contacted my ISP first, and after close to 2 hours of doing some checks and then finding out that 2 DNS numbers were conflicting—the old from GoDaddy and the new from Bluehost—ISP claimed the delay was on the Bluehost side.

Thus, I contacted Bluehost for the 4th time to recap my story. The previous supports didn’t mention anything about DNS conflicts as they claimed that they can see my live website on their end. But this call was more informative than the previous ones—he confirmed that there was a DNS conflict, where this was acceptable and normal, and that I needed to revisit that propagation checker website. So mostly green but only a few reds. Fair enough. The wait was still on late Saturday night. Then Sunday morning—only one DNS number with no conflicts. All the wait and inconvenience was worth it. Finally. Let’s get this baby off the ground.

The wordpress.org theme I’m using on this site is developed by AccessPress, specifically their popular Parallax theme.

Thank you to award-winning social-media strategist Tracy Bains for the inspiration in creating a new blog website.

Stay tuned for more upcoming, inviting content.

Can’t See The Forest For The Tree Of Social Media?

Can’t See The Forest For The Tree Of Social Media?

Above image: My capture of wooded Whistler, BC, near Nita Lake.

One needs to step back and view the entire social-media landscape to identify the appropriate social channels to utilize for your strategy. Don’t spread your content too thin by utilizing numerous channels; rather, use the ones that your audience will be tuning into and better reflects your branded product, or service.

For example, Facebook content is more social in nature than LinkedIn, which the latter is business-to-business content-writing style. Instagram’s channel is visual and great for products images; minimal writing is required as a picture is worth a thousand words—as the adage goes. Twitter is limited to 140 characters; so, writing needs to be succinct in message delivery. Also, Instagram users are younger compared to Twitter users.

Once you’ve identified your social platforms, set up an editorial calendar to schedule and deliver your content on a consistent basis. This way, your audience will know when to expect your postings, and, hopefully, will be engaged in looking forward to reading them.

Specific channels have best times of delivery. You can use an automation program to schedule your posts—there’s no need to manually post your social media during specific times of the day. Hootsuite, Oracle Eloqua and Marketo are examples of marketing automation products that can schedule posts.

From experience—Caveat Emptor—the free version of Hootsuite is an aggregator that will provide its own link to Google Analytics; thus, lowering your social media website visit statistics. In this case, visits for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were significantly lower after previously reported highs. After abandoning the free version and deciding to manually post, the numbers started to climb again.

As an aside, marketing automation products will, foremost, provide you with a visitor profile once the individual has filled in a form on your website page. The visitor will be tracked throughout the process and tie in with your Customer Relationship Management tool, or some automation products come with its own CRM.

Contrary to known visitor profiles, Google Analytics will deliver visitors’ anonymous information, where one can acquire reports on numerous information; for example social media traffic, goals attained, device category sessions, and behaviours. Visit beginners guide to GA if you’re a novice. Also, a nice tool to use is StatCounter, where their reports provide ISP addresses of visitors and including their locations pinned on a world map. These reporting tools will provide a code that needs to be embedded in the website for analytics tracking.

As I previously posted, once you direct your social media post to your website, you need to determine a conversion factor. For instance, are you selling products online where you have ecommerce? If so, your conversion is for your visitors to make purchases. Or you may want your visitors to sign up for a newsletter, or download whitepaper; then you will add these acquired names to your CRM for future marketing opportunities. Whatever the choice, you need to set up your website’s landing page accordingly.

Hope this basic information allowed you to see a broader perspective of your social media.

Food For Thought: Content Is Still King

Food For Thought: Content Is Still King

Above image: My capture of The Feenie Burger, Cactus Club, West Edmonton Mall.

Unlike what marketing industry professionals thought in the past, today, content goes hand in hand with SEO (Search Engine Optimization)—where both are inseparable, like burger and bun.

First, the idea is to arrive at keywords that the organization’s potential clients will be utilizing for their search. Simultaneously, those keywords should be reflective of what the organization will be using to market its products, or services. Then those words, as part of the content, are sprinkled throughout various web pages on headlines, first paragraph in the body copy, image alt text, and even the pages’ URL.

Another point to consider is to use keyword synonyms throughout your content in the form of LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords. This illustrates to Google that an organization knows the topic that they are writing about, and that outfit knows their content well. One way to arrive at LSI keywords is through a generator.

Also, social media content should use those same SEO keywords, which can be added in the form of hashtags (#). This goes back to the premise of searchable keywords that potential clients could be utilizing. People who abuse #s are known as a ‘#hole’. So, use #s sparingly and wisely, and ensure the #s are integrated into the sentences and not simply added in the end of the post ad nauseam.

Consistency in content utilizing keywords yields synergy—as the reader reads the organization’s content from its web page to its social media postings to its email campaign, harmonious messaging about the organization is conveyed as to paint a clear, understandable picture of its essence.

In fact, other media—email newsletters, email campaigns, brochures, etc.—should render all SEO content consistent. Again, the synergy factor that yields the organization consistency from platform to platform is vital: the organization should deliver one voice, one face to all its audience. And it goes without saying, that the synergy factor includes consistency in colour, images, etc.—all those key aspects of branding.

Further, part of Google’s complex algorithm is to reward a website that produces fresh content with a higher page ranking versus those sites that rarely update its content. For example, New York Times’ website will rank higher than a site that changes its content once per couple of years.

So, as all this content drives potential clients to the organization’s web site, for example, there should be a conversion strategy in place. Will the website visitor, who could well be a potential client, sign up for a newsletter and leave their contact information? Purchase a product online? Download a white paper? This is the objective of great content—to be able to drive action that sells.

Hence, it’s imperative to think strategically when working with content and SEO keywords. Definitely some information there to chew on : )