Nearly everyone who owns a website wants to see it perform better in the search engines. Good search results are especially critical for business websites that are expected to generate leads or produce e-commerce sales.

Unfortunately, a lot of business owners give up on search engine optimization — or settle for sub-standard results — because they think good optimization is too expensive. While an investment in top-notch SEO work is seldom wasted, two very effective SEO tactics fall into the Do It Yourself category and are often overlooked by many webmasters and site owners. […]

Suppose, for a moment, that you’ve decided your business needs to have an official social media policy. Now you’ve got to figure out what your brand-new policy should include.

Details of the policy will differ a bit depending on whether or not your company uses social media for marketing and/or customer relations. Regardless, as I outlined in an earlier post, your policy needs to define acceptable and unacceptable types of online conduct as specifically as possible. […]

If your business has more than a handful of employees, you need to consider establishing a social media policy.

Do you actively promote your business through social media? If so, then it’s critical to consider creating an acceptable use policy for your employees. They need to know how they’re expected to represent your business online during working hours. […]

Every social media platform on the Internet today has security problems of some sort. Typically, the more popular the platform, the bigger the problems. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and similar social media are all lucrative hunting grounds for spammers, phishers and hackers because they have large – and usually pretty relaxed – user bases.

Experts in the online security industry frequently moan and groan about all of the problems with social media. True, some services aren’t as sharp about protecting user privacy and other digital defense measures as they ought to be. A lot of them try to plug as many security holes as they can, but it doesn’t matter how top-notch their development team may be — there will always be one big security flaw that they can’t counter.

You.

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Toward the end of April, Facebook took a stab at upgrading its security efforts by announcing a partnership with five major anti-virus software vendors: Microsoft, Trend Micro, McAfee, Sophos, and Symantec. The partnership is a sort of one-two punch security effort. Facebook will use the URL blacklists provided by the software vendors to augment its own URL blacklist service. At the same time, they’re offering free versions of five leading anti-virus software packages.
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Online review sites are becoming more and more vital to consumers as they research businesses and products online.  Sites like Yelp and Google Local allow customers to post their reviews for others to read, making them a powerful influence in consumer buying decisions. According to the MIT Technology Review, for every one dollar U.S. consumers spend online, another five or six are going to off-line purchases that are influenced by online research. In fact, 97% of Internet users in the U.S. gather shopping information online. Yet many business owners still have not ventured into the world of online reviews, even though their customers are researching them and making purchasing decisions based on the online reviews they find.

Here are some tips to help you get started and take control of your online reviews: […]

Social networking can be a time-consuming endeavor, so the temptation to cut corners is big.  There are tools, techniques, and add-ons available that seem like a great idea to help you streamline your social media strategy and save time… until they start to undermine your efforts to connect in a real way to your customers.  Here are 4 things you should avoid: […]

So you’ve heard that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the U.S., second only to Google (who owns YouTube and includes YouTube search results in Google SERPs as well), and that 20 million visitors search YouTube every month.  A savvy web marketer would jump on the opportunity to corner search results on YouTube. But just uploading a digital version of the commercial the cable company produced for you will probably not result in more website visitors and increased sales.  Follow these steps to create and promote effective online videos that generate business. […]

Search engine experts and online marketers agree that the key to attracting search engines and customers to your website is useful, unique, relevant content that can’t be found elsewhere.  Therefore, content creation is the most important task for all website developers and owners. Unfortunately it is also the most difficult.  It is very tempting to recycle content available elsewhere on the web (like manufacturer descriptions of products), or to provide bland, dated material that doesn’t engage your website visitors.  However, there are a few content types you can focus on that will drive engagement, higher search engine ranking, and conversions on your website. […]

Quora’s goal is to be able to answer questions that Google and Wikipedia can’t. They are accomplishing this goal by posting user generated questions answered by the rest of the Quora community. A rating system that pushes answers up or down depending on community agreement moves the “best” answer to the top. Currently Quora is generating a large amount of buzz online. The main reason for this buzz isn’t the concept – questions and answer sites like Yahoo! Answers have been around for years – but instead the user group is Quora’s greatest strength. It seems that very influential business owners, celebrities, and other major industry leaders are actually active Quora users. Case in point, the question “What is an ideal use case for Amazon PayPhrase?” was personally answered by Amazon CTO Werner Vogels. […]

The term social media is being used pretty much everywhere now. It’s popularity is on the rise, and in turn the methods for sharing through social media are also growing. It can be a bit overwhelming choosing how to share and what to share. I would like to share some guidelines on using social media effectively for your business. This is going to be a long post, so you may want to bookmark it for future reference. […]