Archive for October 2011

QR CODES   1 comment

White and black boxes that look like a printed version of what could be a computer chip. You may have seen them in print ads in magazines, in catalogs or alongside products in local stores. The boxes you see are Quick Response Codes called QR Codes for short, these two-dimensional codes are readable on smart phones with camera capabilities. In order to “read” them, simply download a free QR Code reader from your phone’s app store. Then place your phone over the code until the reader identifies the code. Next thing you know your phone will open up the information stored inside that small printed box.

QR Codes will always lead to a web site. The Code may simply act as a link to a company’s product web site. Or, it may launch a web page that is only available to the smartphone users who scan it. The Code may lead to a video clip that offers
further information about the product or service it is promoting.

In some cases, the Code will take you to our Facebook or Twitter pages or a product web site. In other cases, the QR Code will take you to a special video that is only available to those who scan the Code.

Many manufacturers produce high quality videos touting the benefits of their products, and they are available for your use. Try searching a specific manufacturer’s YouTube channel or their web site for a product video matching the products you sell. Then generate a QR Code that links to that video (you can find a free QR Code generator on the Internet). Once you have your QR Code created, print it out on a sign for the product line. Your clients will love the value-added benefit these Codes create. When explaining the benefits of a product, the customer can simply use their phone to scan the Code for more information.

QR Codes are another way to promote your business web site. If, you have a printed menu of services you supply to customers, instead of just printing your web address on the piece, include a QR Code that links to your web site. This makes it faster and easier for mobile phone users to access the information they are looking for. Clients will appreciate the speed and ease of access to your information that QR Codes can provide and any tool that makes your clients’ lives easier.

Search Services   Leave a comment

Apart from Google, Twitter and Facebook there are other useful Search services to capture conversation. Though Facebook is the largest social networking site, its in-site search may not be the best way to see such data.

Youropenbook.org: is a simple to search and you can see what others are searching for.  It has the unique ability to search Facebook  for male and female Facebookers and is useful if you need to search on gender.

Facepinch.com: Can view the most recent searches if you need to know what’s happening at present. Its is also possible to browse recently updated profile pictures of facebook users’ names and thumbnails. You can select specific countries if you are interested in a particular geographical area. Lets you view hot trending topics and see what is being sought on Facebook with the top 100 popular search list. You can search Facebook’s 500 million network or Twitter’s network instead.

Booshaka.com: Can have  real-time look at what is trending on facebook based on open search keywords or using a specific topic. You can select from main topics like news, music, sports, politics, fashion or movies provides a stream of updates from recent accounts. Displays number of  ”likes’ and comments a Facebook post has received and narrow down the results by what’s trending and what’s popular.

Kurrently.com: is a dedicated search engine for Facebook and Twitter, but you can narrow down to see results from one service or the other. The search results continue to refresh after after you’ve looked up a word or phrase.

Optimizing for Facebook and Search Engines   9 comments

You’re probably familiar with search engine optimization (SEO) tactics for improving your website’s search rankings in Google and other major search engines. But have you thought about how to incorporate social media into your search strategy? Optimizing for Facebook and search engines is benefits overall search rankings.

Facebook can be a valuable asset for search results. The volume of content and variety of places to add keyword-rich content can help you attract new Page members on Facebook, while providing more natural search results.Facebook is indexed by search engines and also has deals with Google and Bing to display social search results that include posts from your friends.

In the more general natural-search realm, a well-optimized Facebook Page can help you overtake a competitor by providing a second set of Pages (in addition to your own website) to display on the search results page. This can also be helpful when you’re looking to do some reputation management. A Facebook Page can also give you the opportunity to add a few more keywords that didn’t work as well on your website.

Places to Put Keywords:

Page name:    Your Facebook Page name or title is one of the first things both users and search engines. Create a keyword-dense title, but make sure it’s clear who you are and what you do.

URL:    You can also choose a vanity URL for your Page, which is another great place to include branded keywords like your company name. Facebook Page URLs are a large part of optimization, as content space is limited.

The Info box:    This small, 250-character box located below the Page icon is an underused gold mine for both traffic and SEO purposes. It’s one of the first things a current Page member sees when looking at either the Wall or Info tab. The keywords you use in the Info box can go a long way in search. With its prominent placement, the Info box is a great place to optimize a little info about your Page, because it’s the highest place in the Page code that allows custom text. You can even put a clickable link in there. You just need to include the http:// part first.

Keywords on Facebook Tabs:

The Facebook tab structure creates a helpful hierarchy of information and the ability to add lots of keyword-rich content. Facebook offers several standard tabs for your Page, including the Wall, Info, and Photos or Videos tabs. You can also add your own custom tabs.

Default landing tab:    Facebook allows you to choose a specific landing tab for new Page viewers. This is the first tab they
see, and its primary goal is to encourage them to click Like for the Page. It is also the first Page crawledby search engines. This default tab can be a custom tab you create, so make sure it contains relevant text that explains to both search engines and Facebook users who you are and what you do.

Info tab:  The standard Info tab has fields containing important descriptive data about your Page. It’s important to fill out all fields, as they provide an opportunity to include keywords and links for both local searches in the Location field and more general product or service queries in the Company Overview section.

Other Content:  

It almost goes without saying, but it’s important to continually share interesting content on your Facebook Page and always use all available descriptive fields on each type of content shared. Facebook allows nearly every piece of content to be indexed by search engines, so use the tabs, tools, and input fields that Facebook provides to your full advantage.

Media:   Post photos to multiple albums and include keyword-rich descriptions of the album and each photo. Every event or topic should have its own album for easier searching. Allow Page members to post their own photos and comment on or tag your uploads.

Events:  Use the Events feature for both real and virtual events. Always fill out all fields with a full description of the event, and make it open to the public.

Status updates:  There is a lot of debate about the extent to which updates help with search engines, but it’s clear that they are a big factor in Facebook searches. Take your time when planning content and include keywords; this is the bulk of what Page members will see on a daily basis.

Increased Interactions:
User interaction is a crucial yet elusive factor in optimizing your Facebook Page and improving search presence. Facebook views interactions with your Page (likes, comments, and posts) much like a searchengine views links pointing to your site. A user interaction is a vote for the content of your Page.

Facebook’s focus on user behavior and interaction extends to visits, clicks, and Event RSVPs as well. The exact weight or algorithm the site uses to calculate interaction is unclear, but the higher the engagement on your Page, the higher you will rank in Facebook searches and the more prominent your placement in a suggested search.

Encourage interaction on your Page by posting frequently and including lots of content that asks users directly to interact.

Web 3.0 Marketing   Leave a comment

The key driving factors to Web 3.0 marketing include browsing habits, browsing methods, more intelligent information, the experience you are looking for, and the openness of the Web. Web 3.0 marketing is the convergence of new technologies and rapidly changing consumer buying trends.

Live, streaming video is outpacing static video, and companies like Twitter, Plurk, and Jaiku are growing much more
rapidly than Blogger, WordPress, or TypePad. The Web 3.0 marketing world is where customized, intelligent information
is available at our fingertips, on any device, from anywhere in the world.

Components of Web 3.0 Marketing

Microblogging: is the ability to share your thoughts with a set number of characters. People are busy with limited time, so why not get right to the point of the story in 140 characters or fewer? Examples include Twitter, Plurk, and Jaiku.

Virtual Reality Worlds: are places users visit to interact with others from around the world in a 3-D setting. Meetings are being conducted in these spaces, and trade shows are being replaced with virtual reality shows. Examples include Second Life and Funsites.

Customization/Personalization: allows visitors to create a more personalized experience. They are starting to expect their name to appear at the top of Web sites, personal e-mails, and even advanced checkout options that suit their buying habits. As the Web becomes more and more intelligent, personalization will be the norm. Examples include SendOutCards, Google, and Amazon.

Mobile: plays on the fact that there are billions of cellphone users throughout the world. This number is much larger than those that use PCs. Consumers are surfing the Web and purchasing products right from their mobile phones. They are also using their phones and becoming instant journalists by shooting raw footage of random acts. Examples include iPhones and BlackBerrys.

On-Demand Collaboration: allows users to interact in real time by looking over documents, collaborating,and making changes in real time. Software as a service also fits into on-demand collaboration as it allows users to leverage only Web-based solutions. Examples include Google Docs, http://www.Salesforce.com, http://www.Slideshare.net, and http://www.Box.net.

Web3.0 Marketing Technology

-A system to send voice broadcasts to mobile phones, and one that will also send SMS (text messages). (www.trumpia.com).

-A Web-based customer relationship management system.  Salesforce.com.

-An all-in-one solution for capturing leads, managing sales, and garnering affiliates. http://www.amazingshoppingcart.
com is a great place to start.

-A solid team (or individual, to start), whether in-house or outsourced, that knows programming. This person should be able to develop applications, be able to work with open-source code, and ideally know how to program in Second Life. Check out http://www.RentACoder.com for ideas.

-platform to virtually communicate and collaborate across a company. My all-time favorite company is Google. For instance, Taz Solutions, Inc. company.

Heat Maps   1 comment

Analyzing and understanding heat maps has numerous benefits. The data  is a proof as to where visitors click or do not click, providing useful information when designing landing pages. Data is also helpful in determining optimal advertisement placement, reduce abandonment of shopping cart, maximize conversions of online forms and predict how visitors will use the site.

In traditional heat maps, the brighter the colour the more clicks a specific area is receiving. This is effective as it shows the degree to which people are interacting with live elements on a  website and how a design and site structure can be improved by understanding what elements users are truly interested in, as opposed to those areas where users only consider clicking.

But heat maps alone do not show us all of the information needed for true optimization, as they tend only to track clicks on links. Coupling heat map data with more detailed analytics lets us track and visualize mouse movement and page or mouse clicks that are not links (non-clickable elements). In essence, we get a deeper understanding of how users are experiencing a page as a whole, not just where they click.  How helpful would it be to know if users are hovering over links (often called hover time), and how often? If that information were available we might be able to determine how compelling the anchor text of certain links are, even if users did not actually click them, and how they might be improved.

We can also determine the time from when a page loads until a user clicks a certain link. This is helpful in determining if the placement we’ve chosen for a specific design element is optimal or if it should be brought into greater focus (above the fold, for example) to increase the number of clicks.

What heat map analytics can show with great clarity is not just how well a Web design, its layout and structure are performing in terms of clicks but also help us make modifications based on seemingly unrelated information, such as the referrer. For example, review the highest volume entry pages by comparing the best and worst performing pages. Then use heat maps to determine the relationship between the top referrer of  those pages and clicks and lack of clicks. Once the worst offenders are found, multiple variables and landing page approaches based on the source of traffic can be tested.

Reviewing the activity of visitors from different referral sources is but one of the ways heat maps can be used. Clicktale, for example, offers statistics to its users based on existing customers versus new visitors, and customers who made a purchase versus those who did not. You can segment by absolutely anything. For example, age, gender, location or compare specifics such as bachelors in their 30’s versus mothers versus teenagers.

Analyzing data provided through heat maps can be cumbersome but keep these points in mind during analysis and when
drafting suggestions and recommendations:

–Areas that receive few clicks could be removed. If users don’t find them important they may be more of a distraction than providing help. If you’re hesitant to leave sections empty, simply replace them with something entirely different to see if that leads to more interest on the part of users.

–While identifying areas that receive the most attention is useful, particularly for those responsible for optimizing content,observing the areas after they click to those destinations is perhaps even more useful. For example if users do not click anywhere after arriving on a page they may have hit a dead end. Try to turn those endings into new beginnings by offering content suggestions or product recommendations.

The job of a Web designer — or anyone responsible for optimizing the user experience — is to maximize interest in the site and its products or content while maintaining usability. The challenge is to balance aesthetics with function. To achieve this you must give website visitors a direction; guiding them where you want them to go.

Google TrustRank   Leave a comment

Google TrustRank is the degree to which Google trusts that your website will be valuable to visitors if presented as a search result. Google will place your website highly in search results if it has a good TrustRank . TrustRank is earned the same way as PageRank: is by receiving links from other sites. The age of a site also increases its TrustRank.

The PageRank found on the Google toolbar, is updated only every two to three months, so the PageRank you see today could be very different from the page’s actual PageRank, which is tabulated daily by Google.

Google penalizes websites that sell links by crippling their ability to transfer TrustRank and they do not inform penalized websites that they have lost the ability to pass TrustRank to other sites. Most of the links that are sold today are from penalized pages and have absolutely no value to their buyers.

-Google gives the most TrustRank to sites that have links from well linked web pages.                                                             -Google does not allow sites that sell links to pass trust but shows no indication of the sites that have been disallowed to     pass trust.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -A site has a high TrustRank if its links are from websites that, to the best of your knowledge, have never sold links.

If a site looks professional, has been around for sometime, and doesn’t have anything spammy written on it, it is likely to be in good standing with Google and will transfer TrustRank properly. If you search for a particular term in Google , the top 40 results definitely have TrustRank and the top 10 results definitely have a lot of TrustRank. Remember to search for competitive terms. Do not search uncommon terms even the top 5 results may not have a lot of TrustRank.

Beacuse Search engines is a high-volume search and these are the top 10 results for it, we can immediately feel certain that each of the 10 results has a good amount of TrustRank. Therefore, any of them would be good targets to approach about acquiring a link on their sites.

Now lets try a less common search: search engine marketing. Here to the top 10 results have quite good TrustRank. When you see a lot of ads come up around a search, it usually means that the search seemed worthy enough to other businesses that they were willing to invest money in it. That’s a sign that the search is competitive and the top 10 results probably had to earn their spots on the first page with a healthy amount of TrustRank.

Lets try to search for a much less competitive phrase: search engines list. Because the search is obviously not an especially common one, these sites do not have enough TrustRank to approach for getting links.

Try to get a lot of websites to link to your website that
–Have many inbound links
— Have never sold links
This will give your site TrustRank and cause Google to send it traffic.

Posted October 20, 2011 by Anoop George Joseph in Internet

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Security Threat in Social Networking   Leave a comment

A message from one of your friends appears in your in box, sent via a social network site that you use regularly. The message promises a big deal and points to a Web site you’ve never heard of. You click the link—and the next thing you know, your PC is misdirected to a phishing page that steals your log-in details or to a drive-by download site that infects your system with a password-stealing Trojan horse. And your friend says that she never sent you the message. This is a security threat in social networking.

Whether the culprit is a fake LinkedIn profile page that serves up URLs leading to dangerous Web sites or a bogus Twitter message that purportedly comes from a friend, social networks are rapidly becoming the newest medium for malware attacks. As operating systems and applications became harder to hack directly, online criminals came to realize that it was much easier to fool people into clicking bad links, opening dangerous files, and running malicious software. They also figured out that the most effective place to exploit the trust that naturally exists between friends and colleagues was within the mechanisms of the online social networks themselves.

By now, most Internet users are savvy enough to recognize spam e-mail. But what about a spam tweet that seems to come from someone in your circle of friends and links to a page that looks almost exactly like the one you use to log in to Twitter? A week may go by, and suddenly the data thieves who now control your account begin sending messages with URLs—some of which perform drive-by downloads and infect the recipients’ PCs with malware—to everyone in your social network.

Facebook and MySpace users have already had to deal with a number of worms and other nasties that are designed to spread independently of any action taken by the account holder.

If you think that details of your social networking account may have been stolen or compromised in some other way, report your suspicions to the site’s support team immediately. Change your password frequently, and avoid clicking message links that purport to transfer you back to the social network site. Instead, to get back to your account, type the site’s address directly into your browser

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