Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

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Say Goodbye To Long And Ugly URLs

November 28, 2010

Have you ever copied and pasted a link that was so long you couldn’t
send it in a tweet; or maybe it was so long that it just didn’t look good in the
email? Here is the solution.

Go to tinyurl.com and paste the long url into the provided field. After
this is done click on “Make tiny url” and a new [short] link will be
provided. The new link goes to the same web page as the long link, but it
won’t take up your character space.

I hope you get a lot of use out of tinyurl. This post ties in well with my
Twitter category
which gives advice on what to tweet, how often to
tweet, and other general Twitter tips.

Thanks for reading,

~Joshua Lyons

P.S. Since posting this entry I have had about a dozen comments from
people recommending  bit.ly.com. as well. I checked out that site and
I am impressed with it. I would encourage you to check out both sites
and see which one is more comfortable. You’ve got options!

P.S.S. Here is a well written article about the concerns/pitfalls of using
shortlinks from tinyurl, bit.ly, and similar sites. It’s worth a read.
http://www.metaltoad.com/blog/url-shorteners-must-die

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The Best Free Video Creation Site I’ve Found

November 21, 2010

The best website I’ve found for creating professional looking videos for free is
Animoto
.

The free version of Animoto allows you to create 30 second videos
using templates. Although templates frequently scream ”cheesy!” Animoto has
several template options which are quite good. You’re able to include
pictures, text, music, [from their music library or from yours] or
video clips.

With the free version you can create videos with Animoto and use them to
do any of the following:
1. Add videos to your Google Place page to increase your Google ranking
2. Send videos to your social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter
3. Embed videos into your blog or website

I’ve added one of the videos I’m using for my company to this blog. We
created this video to increase our Google Place page ranking. There are
four more videos on our places page that you can look at if you would like to
see some other template examples.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you found this useful.

~Joshua Lyons

P.S. If you liked this post you will probably like my post on where to get free
high resolution photos
and edit them for free on the web.

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You Are Properly Using Google Places; Right?

November 14, 2010

Having your business listed in Google places is extremely valuable
for increasing your visibility and your page ranking in a Google
search. There are several things you should do in order to help
increase your Google Places ranking.

Google recently reconfigured the way they rank pages. If they
think the person doing the search is trying to find a local business they
will automatically put the Google Places results at the top of the
search page. If your business isn’t listed in Google Places you will not
show up in that list. Therefore, make sure you have your Google
Places page set up.

Once you have created your page you should do as much as possible to
make  your page rank higher than your competition’s Google Places
rankings.

Here are a few things you can do to help create a positive Google Places ranking.

1. Have a 100% complete profile. If you took enough time to fill out all
the information you should get much further along than those who
don’t fill out the profile. That’s common since.

2. Upload photos and videos [If you have them] to your places page. Make
sure your favorite photo is the first one you upload. This picture will be
used as a profile photo that people can actually see when your place
shows up in a Google search. Here is an example of what the
places search results
will look like when it displays your photos.

3. Get reviews! This is extremely important! First of all, don’t write your
own reviews. Most of the time it is obvious that they aren’t genuine. Take a
look sometime at someone who has a lot of reviews and look at the
dates they are posted. Some businesses will suddenly have a boost of
reviews all on the same day or within a period of a few days. Then the
reviews stop coming in. Those almost always turn out to be the
company writing reviews on itself.

If you have a quality business it shouldn’t be hard to ask a few of your
top customers or clients to write a short review for you. Asking 10
people to write a review for you will significantly improve your
ranking and credibility. You could even offer an incentive to get your
favorite customers to write for you.

4. Use Google Posts. Using Google Posts is like using the status
update for Facebook. You are able to enter as many as 160 characters of
text and publish it with your places page. If you have something going
on make sure to use the Google Posts option to let people know about
it. Also, consider using keywords to add to your industry relevance.

5. Have a well designed website. If your website is built well for search
engine optimization purposes you will seem important to Google. This will
of course be helpful for your places ranking when someone is
searching for a local business.

6. Add a description for your company. This is a short description but it
is an excellent place to add the most relevant keywords for your
industry.

7. Properly categorize your places page. There is a section that allows
you to categorize your business. If you own an ice cream business and
don’t categorize it as ice cream it may be difficult to get your page to
show up in an ice cream business search. Make sure to categorize your
business properly.

There are some more strategies and aspects to successfully using Google
Places but I think the seven points listed above are perhaps the most
important things to be taken advantage of.

I hope this helps and please feel free to leave comments and suggestions
to this post!

Thanks for reading,

~Joshua Lyons

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3 Important Things to Check on Your Website

October 31, 2010

I don’t know much about html and programming, but I can tell if my
company website is designed to get the attention of Google and other
search engines.

I’ve noticed that a lot of websites are built to appear attractive to
visitors but ignore hidden aspects that make search engines happy.

Here are some steps my company took to increase our page rankings
on some various search terms. We now rank number one in almost
every search that people use to find us.

Go to your website and right-click on the background. In the tab that
appears you will see an option to click on “View Source (V).” Click that
option.

There are three things in that crazy maze of letters, numbers, and
symbols that you need to find.

Meta Descriptions

Three SEO Tips1. Look for where it says
<META NAME=”description” CONTENT= towards
the top of the window. This is the description of
the website that Google displays in the Google
search. This is the first thing people will read
about who you are and what you offer. This is
very important because the keywords people
are using to find you should be in that
description. That will help google give your page a
higher ranking. If you leave this section blank
Google will make up a meta description for
you. It’s better to make your own description using the keywords you
want. The meta description should be no more than about 160
characters long and should be written in readable sentences and not just
a list of keywords. People will read your meta so be careful as you
craft it.

Meta Keywords

2. Look for <META NAME=”keywords” CONTENT=. This should be very
close to where it has the description. This is the place where you want to
add the keywords that are most relevant to your site. You don’t have
to list them in sentence form like you do for the description. Just
add some keywords or phrases which are separated by commas. Most
people recommend that you have somewhere from four to nine keywords
or phrases. Choose your keywords well. I would recommend using
Google AdWords
to find the best keywords for your site. One good idea I
read was to include your city as a keyword. Don’t just include the products or
services you offer.

Meta Alts & Titles

3. The last place to look for is a little more tricky than the first
two. You will need to find the part of the page that says “<body….” If you
have a picture in the body of your website you will also see some text that
says “<img….” After  and are the last two places you want to pay some
attention to. Each time you have an image in your website there will be alt
and title names available to the image. You could think of alts and titles as
very brief descriptions you can give to your photos. Again, you
want to use keywords that are associated with the page. By adding
alts and titles to each image you can give Google and other search
engines more opportunities to see what your page is about. The more
you can describe your page to the search engines the better.

These three steps are focused on making keywords for the search engines
to see.

I would strongly suggest looking at your website to see if you
have individual descriptions for each page, individual keywords for
each page, and unique alts and titles for each image in your site.

If your site isn’t taking advantage of these SEO methods you should
come up with descriptions, keywords, alts, and titles and ask your
webmaster to include them in your site.

Give it a few days for the search engines to take a look (crawl) your
page. Once this is done I suspect your page ranking will improve.

I hope this helps and if you have any questions or anything to add
feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks for reading!

~Joshua Lyons

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Get High Resolution Photos And Edit For Free

October 24, 2010

*Notice additional information added in bold at the end of the
entry.

We frequently need photos to add a look of professionalism to
blog posts, articles, websites, or other sites. Where can we
get high-resolution photos and how can we edit them for
free?

Photoxpress is the best place I’ve found to get free photos.
The free version limits you to ten photos a day, but the
resolution is very high and it’s not common that a person will
need more than 10 photos a day.

Photoshop is an excellent software program for photo editing; but
what if you don’t have Photoshop and you’re not willing to pay
the money to get it?

Picnik is a great site that allows you to upload photos and
edit them. The service is free, easy to use, and provides
a number of editing options ranging from adding text, to
cropping, to adding special effects and features.

By using photoxpress and picnik together you can create high
quality customized photos.

There is also a picnik application that can be added to your
Facebook fan page. This makes it easier to edit your photos without
having to leave your fan page.

I hope this helps and thanks for reading,

~Joshua Lyons

(12/28/2010) Photoxpress has changed their pricing plans
since I created this post. Now, if you already
have an account you will continue to get the 10 free
photos a day. If you do not have an account you will
need purchase a paid version. If you don’t want to pay |
for the photos I would recommend going to stock.xchng
instead. They seem to be an excellent alternative.

Edit your free photos
Edited Photo
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How Are Customers Finding Your Competitors?

September 21, 2010

One of the best things you can do, if you want people to find you online, is to
find out which keywords people are typing in a Google search to find your
competitors.

There is an excellent tool that helps you find out what you need to use as your keywords in order for people to find you.

Go to Google AdWords and enter the website of your top competitor. Once
you do this you can hit the search button and
you will be able to see a list of all the
words that are used in Google searches to find
the competitor.

You can see how many times each word is searched, which words are used the most and how competitively your competitors are using those words to drive traffic to
their sites.

You need to find out what is working for your competitors and make those
keywords work for you. Some of the best places to incorporate your top
keywords include your websites, articles, blogs and Twitter bio.

By discovering the best keywords to use and incorporating those keywords in
your website and other sites you will be able to make major
steps toward catching up to your competitors and even surpassing
them.

Good luck with the keyword search!

Thanks for reading,

~Joshua Lyons

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Be Smart – Use Your Hyperlinks Properly

September 9, 2010

Hyperlinks can be very valuable if you know how to use them.

Prehaps you’ve seen an article or some other means of
communication that had a link which looked like part of a text but was
blue and if you clicked on it you would be lead to another
page. This is called a hyperlink and can be used for two purposes.

First, these links tell search engines what your article is about. If
for exampleI insert this Twitter hyperlink I am actually
telling the search engines thatI am writing about Twitter. We both
know that isn’t true, but the search engines don’t know that.

Of course, you don’t want to include tons of hyperlinks with
words that don’t apply to your site. However, in my case, since this
entire blog is focused on social media it won’t hurt for me to
have a Twitter hyperlink in the previous paragraph; even though the post
isn’t exactly about Twitter.

Secondly, hyperlinks are used to help guide the flow of traffic to where
you want it.

Let’s say you just created a Facebook fan page. You are wanting to
generate some traffic but you don’t know how. What you can do is
include hyperlinks to your Facebook page in your
e-mail signature, blogs, website pages and articles. By doing this you
will create doors to your Facebook page that your audience can
find you by.

It is highly recommended to always use hyperlinks to your Twitter page,
Facebook fan page, blog, website, and any other type of
site you have. Include these links in as many places as possible so as to
help direct traffic to your sites.

In order to make a hyperlink you should highlight the text you wish to make
click-able and then click on the hyperlink image.             This image usually looks like a link from a chain. Then, in the new window,
you will enter the URL of the site you are wanting to direct the traffic to.

Good luck with your hyperlinking and I hope this helps.

Thanks for reading,

~Joshua Lyons