Incorporating Google’s Hummingbird Update into your Local Search Optimization

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Google Hummingbird UpdatesGoogle recently updated their ranking algorithms again, and this time the updates can have effects on your website’s search engine marketing strategies if you blog regularly. The new update, called Hummingbird, was rolled out all at once, unlike the iteration-approach Google took with previous updates Penguin and Panda.

What Does Hummingbird Mean for Your Site?

The biggest change with this update is that Google is now looking at how people search for things — instead of what you’re looking for. Search is becoming more of conversation.

So if user is, for example, looking for a “gaming remote”, search results will also include “game controllers” as well.

This means that local search optimization is becoming more about the relationship between context and keywords.

Now, What Do I Have to Do to My Site?

If you’re already blogging regularly, you have a solid start. High quality content is king, and for that content to be effective, it needs to be regularly updated.

If you haven’t started a blog yet, now is the time to set one up. Services like WordPress and Tumblr can both usually be added to your existing site without too many complications.

What Should I Write About on My Blog?

Google’s Hummingbird update places emphasis on contextually relevant content — content that is clear, concise and provides value to users. Good content is something a person is willing to share with friends or link to from their own site.

Some common types of content that will help you keep your seo strategy on track include:

  • How-To posts – Just about any type of company or service can create a good how-to post. Fashion retailers can discuss how to use the newest trends, whereas restaurants can share cooking types and recipes.
  • Q & As – If you have an active social community, use them to mine topics for your blog. Then you can promote those on social to bring your social and search engine marketing strategies full circle.
  • Brand News – Writing about your brand is always a good thing, however posting the same content over and over on multiple press release sites is not. Get into the habit of writing separate posts for your blog and for press release sites like PitchEngine.

How will you update your blogging practices moving forward?

Why Small Businesses Get Big Benefits From Social Media

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As social media continues to change the way people communicate, it has become an increasingly important tool for small businesses. Consider these statistics:


It is highly likely that your current and potential customers are some of these social media users. Therefore, if you haven’t done so already, it is time to start joining these platforms and growing your business through social media. Here’s why:

 1. Great Customer Service Tool

An active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn makes your brand easily accessible to consumers. People visit social media sites every day, sometimes multiple times a day, so being on these sites means they can access your brand without having to change platforms. It also means that – instead of customers having to search for the help tab on your website or call an automated customer service phone number – they can contact you by posting, tweeting or messaging you with just a few clicks. These simple ways to contact your brand gives you the opportunity to communicate with customers faster than ever before.


2. Allows You to Reach Potential Customers

When someone is searching for a new product or service, they are much more likely to listen to a friend’s recommendation than to a marketing campaign’s call to action. As more fans and followers begin to endorse your brand, the larger circle of potential customers you will reach.


3. Easy Way to Creatively Communicate With Followers

Giving your brand a digital voice is an excellent way to communicate with your audience through multiple mediums. Your business can post videos, photographs, polls and contests to  Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, which gives you the chance to reach fans in many different ways. As followers respond to these posts through ‘liking’ or ‘following’ your brand, you will have a better idea of which medium reaches your fans best.


4. Cost Effective

Social Media tools for small business are readily available and affordable. iScream Social helps you plan your social media posts with keywords and compelling content ideas. It selects topics that are specifically designed to engage and interest your target audience. It is a financially strategic way to steadily grow and interact with your fan base only a daily basis.


5. Simple Way to Get Feedback

60% of social media users create reviews of products and services. This means that means your social media followers are a great resource for soliciting feedback about your brand. Also, when customers ‘like,’ ‘favorite’ or ‘retweet’ your post, you have a better idea of what’s working for your brand and what isn’t. The more positive feedback you get, the better you look to current customer’s friends and family, and consequently, the more likely you are to receive new customers through social media.

Ask the experts at iScream Social how you can get your small business to the forefront of social media. Add your questions to the comment section below.

Why is Social Media Planning Important?

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When managing social media, there are two key activities involved: planning and posting.  To be successful, you must take the time to create a social media communication strategy to meet your objectives using the content you share.

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In today’s tech savvy world, a strong social presence has become an important part of running a successful business. But, amidst the chaos of managing your company’s social media platforms – responding to consumer comments, creating content and posting updates – it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, if you want to get the most out of social, you must use it to its fullest potential: interacting with consumers by serving them content relevant to their own likes and interests. Planning and strategizing can help you stay on track by putting purpose into what you’re doing, all while working towards your end goal.

Proper social media planning is important for several reasons:

  1. Increasing Efficiency and Productivity Planning is like a road map to your destination.  It tells you where to post and when to do it, saving you time along the way.  Planning helps you prioritize your tasks and gives you the framework for making informed decisions. When you have a cohesive plan to follow, you can work more productively because you’re prepared for any obstacles that come your way. Planning social calendars allows you to time your posts so they  reach your audience when it’s most convenient to them, turning consumers into fans and fans into advocates of your brand (for more information, click here).  

Your Biz Needs Social Media Optimization

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Optimization has been thrown around as a buzzword in the digital marketing world for the past several years. But when it comes to social media optimization, why should your business care?

Here’s why: most recently, social networks have been driving an increasing amount of traffic to websites – outperforming search referral traffic in a few instances. Your social referral traffic is dependent on how well you’re optimizing your social media plan and social media strategy.

Check out these few simple steps below to ensure you’re executing a better social media optimization plan.

Future of Tumblr Falls in the Hands of Yahoo!

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Yahoo!’s acquisition of Tumblr has many speculating about the future of the internet’s favorite micro-blogging platform / social network / artsy porn aggregator. Optimists need look no further than the subhead of Yahoo!’s official press release for reassurance, while others point to Geocities (R.I.P.), Upcoming (R.I.P.), Delicious (gutted and sold off for pennies on the dollar) and Flickr (ignored for years, just recently got long overdue updates and a good mobile app) as case studies on how not to deal with recently purchased, vibrant web communities.

Regardless of the eventual outcomes, deals like this have become common in social media and the prepared among us would do well to have contingencies in place should this deal or other affect your social campaigns. Here’s a couple tips to get you started:

  1. Keep a suitcase packed. While Tumblr is not yet primetime real estate for brands, any publisher would do well to make sure that more substantial content pieces like blog posts can be transported from one platform to another. Data portability is a good idea in general (remember Geocities?) and Tumblr’s competitors have already seen an uptick on imports from Tumblr refugees.
  2. Monitor the credibility of a platform. Initial response to the deal saw a great deal of dismay from hipsters who see Yahoo! as a dinosaur that is mainly useful for hosting their parents’ email accounts. Tumblr is trading some of their indie cred for money, support and resources — that credibility will never come back in the eyes of some. If your main objective is to be out on the bleeding edge, Tumblr might not be that place any more. But it will be more stable and will see a broadening of its user base. With any platform, if your message aligns with the expectations of your audience, you’ll do well. The key is to keep an eye on the changing audience and their expectations.

In the end, successful campaigns will do what they always do: monitor the response of the audience and react accordingly to get a consistent message across. But a bombshell of a deal like this is always a good opportunity to take a moment and get a lay of the land.