Three Tips to Help You Leverage LinkedIn’s Blogging Platform

by Max Vullhorst

When Microsoft bought LinkedIn, no one really knew what changes they would make. Now, that’s all become clear. LinkedIn is moving more towards a content focused platform than a personal profile focused platform. Makes sense, too! Content is king on the Internet. Why shouldn’t the same strategies work on LinkedIn?

Content is one of the key components of how virtually all Internet marketing works. It’s loosely called “inbound” marketing. “Inbound” in this case means that you put the content online, people find the content, then elect to contact you…or not…according to how good your content was or how well targeted it was. You don’t have to be a big ad agency to get a lot of traction with content on LinkedIn either. In this blog post, I’m going to give you a few tips and tricks you can use in your own LinkedIn blog posts. These tips and tricks will result in you getting a lot more “eyeballs” on your content as well as a lot more interaction with you, your product or your service.

Tip #1: Use LinkedIn’s blogging platform to position you as a leader in your business niche.

There are virtually no professions where expertise is granted by someone else, or some other entity. Even doctors, once they pass their exams and are licensed to practice. Expertise isn’t like getting elected to a political position either. If you’ll really look at who’s an expert…and who’s not…you’ll realize that experts are self-selected and self-declared! You can be an expert and you can share in all the spoils that experts share in. All you have to do is to decide you’re an expert, and tell people!

Tip #2: Use LinkedIn’s blogging platform to announce your new expert position.

If you want to claim expert status in the business world, there’s no better way to announce this than through LinkedIn’s blogging platform. Think about who’s actually reading blog posts on LinkedIn? It’s the movers and shakers of the world! Decision makers! Exactly the kind of people you want reading what you have to say. People who can do business with you. People who can buy from you!

Tip #3: Consistency is more important than frequency.

Writing a blog post takes time. Unless you’re a professional writer, you have a business and/or a career that doesn’t include spending hours every day in front of a computer writing. You can still use LinkedIn’s blogging platform to grow your business, though. One way to do this is to reduce the frequency of how often you publish. Go more for consistency than for frequency. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get out of even one or two blog posts a month!

How to Actually Tell Someone Happy Birthday on LinkedIn…And Why

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, or just shipwrecked in a desert island with no Internet connections, you have a LinkedIn account. The fact that you are reading this shows that you are clearly not belonging to the aforementioned group! We no, It’s the business to business and professional network online. Just to remind ourselves, LinkedIn has close to half a billion users. These are real users, by the way! (LinkedIn is diligent at policing fake accounts.) That means that somewhere around one out of twenty people on the whole planet has a LinkedIn account. In other words, if you’re online to sell products or services, make business connections, find funding, or just expand your professional network for future use, than I reveal no secret when I say that LinkedIn is the place to be.

With all of that said, you would think that most business professionals are adept at using LinkedIn for peer to peer networking. Sadly, that’s not the case! There are several examples of this, one of the most egregious, however, is the act of telling people “happy birthday” through LinkedIn’s notifications feature.

If you log in to your LinkedIn account, you’ll see a notifications icon. This feature tells you who’s done what that might interest you. If someone shares one of your status updates, you’ll see a notification about that. If someone’s changed jobs or has a new position in their company, you’ll see that as a notification, too. And…since you filled in your birthday when you opened your LinkedIn account, you’ll see who has had a birthday over the past few days.

One of your main goals on LinkedIn should be to build your network. One of your other important goals should be to interact with this network. So, it makes sense that telling someone happy birthday would be a good thing to do…and it is! Except most people do it wrong!

When you click on your notifications tab, currently located at the top in the main navigation bar on LinkedIn, you’ll get a list of everything of interest that’s happened with your connections and your updates. You’ll see who’s liked and shared your posts. You’ll see who’s had a job change, and you’ll also see who’s having a birthday. Since one of your main goals should be to interact with more of your connections (and also with people who aren’t your connections), birthdays provide a golden opportunity to do just this.

There’s a right and a wrong way, however, of telling someone Happy Birthday on LinkedIn. When you click on the notification of who’s having a birthday, you’ll see tabs underneath each of their names that you can click. When you click these, the message box will appear with a Happy Birthday message pre-filled in. Please, resist the urge to just hit Enter and use that pre-filled in birthday message! Why? Well, everyone else is doing just that. So, if you use the message LinkedIn provides you with, you’ll just look like every other lazy person out there. You won’t stand out. You’ll look like you don’t really care enough about the person to tell them Happy Birthday in a more meaningful way.

The antidote to this is to do the following. Click on the person’s name or picture and look briefly at their profile. Pick out something interesting you can mention in your birthday message. You can always reference where they work, or where they live. “How’s IBM been treating you?” or “How’s life in Des Moines?” sounds so much better than the generic birthday message. Do this, and you’ll open up a lot more meaningful conversations with people much faster. Conversations that will often lead to sales!

What You Should Do Immediately About Google’s Mobile-First Index

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Google has always insisted that businesses deliver a good user experience. An increase in mobile web browsing has prompted Google to turn its focus to mobile-friendliness and how it should impact search engine rankings.

  • In October last year, website visits on mobile devices surpassed that on desktops (StatCounter).
  • Between 2011 and 2016, smartphone ownership in the United States increased by over 40%, with 95% of Americans owning a cellphone. (Pew Research Center).
  • Since 2015, over half of all Google searches are occurring on mobile devices.

As online activities on mobile devices spiral, Google believes it is time to make significant updates to emphasize the importance of optimizing websites for mobile. Enter the mobile-first index, which aims to improve web browsing for mobile users.

What exactly is the mobile-first index?

Currently, Google has one desktop-based index, which is basically a catalog of information from every webpage the Googlebot crawls. Googlebot, so far, has been creating signals from the perspective of a desktop browsing experience. Though there is a mobile Googlebot that gathers mobile-friendly signals, it isn’t creating an index based on the mobile site.

The ranking is therefore based on the desktop index, and further adjustments to the rank are done by factoring in the mobile signals. The issue is that a large number of mobile webpages don’t have the content and links that users may otherwise be able to access on the desktop version (there are, of course, other signals such as ease of reading the text without zooming or scrolling, which determine the overall mobile-friendliness of a site).

With the mobile-first index, Google wants to ensure that the mobile version of a webpage isn’t so bare-bones that it adversely affects user experience. If this is the case, then the mobile version will be considered as the primary index and results will be ranked based on the mobile content. On the other hand, if you already have a mobile responsive website, you won’t see much change.

What immediate steps should you take?

To reiterate, there are no need for changes if the primary content and markup is identical across your mobile and desktop websites. In any other scenario, these tips should help you respond effectively to the mobile-first index:

1. Ensure that your mobile website has structured data. Use the Structured Data Testing Tool to check for equivalence in structured markup across desktop and mobile. However, it is best to avoid adding detailed markup as not only is it resource intensive but it may also interfere with the design elements on the page. Only serve the markup that is relevant and significant to the content of each page.

2. As the mobile version will gain first preference, it makes sense to optimize web pages for mobile devices to get more visibility and improve chances of better rankings on Google Mobile. If you want to develop a separate mobile website, you can incorporate elements that provide a fully mobile-centric experience. Make sure that the mobile version resembles the desktop site so there isn’t a discrepancy between rankings. Consider adding some responsive elements to enable your webpages to adapt to small differences in screen sizes.

3. If only your desktop website is verified in Search Console, add and verify your mobile version at the earliest.

4. Think Googlebot is blocked from accessing your site? Then it may not be crawling and indexing your site’s content, which in turn will impact your ranking. Use the robots.txt tester tool to confirm if Googlebot can access the mobile version of your business website.

5. No changes to canonical links from desktop to mobile are needed. However, do maintain the correct alternate tags on the mobile and desktop versions.

Now would be a good time to take a second look at your mobile website to verify if it has the content your customers are looking for and the content you want to rank for. Ensure that the most important information and topics are prioritized on the mobile site.

Will mobile website speed matter?

Last week, Google’s Gary Illyes said that a mobile-specific speed measurement system was in the works as the process used to calculate page speed for desktop couldn’t be used for mobile. Page speed will most probably be a ranking signal, so it is recommended that you enhance your mobile website speed if it hasn’t already been optimized. Use the Page Speed Insights tool to check mobile speed. If slow speed is detected, consider implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to make your existing mobile-friendly page load quicker.

Google hasn’t announced a tentative date for their mobile-first index, only saying that it could be launched in a couple of months or quarters. The time can be used to brainstorm on making your website more mobile-friendly and giving your content a good shot at being accessed and read easily.

Image credit : Pixabay

Can Customers find you with their Mobiles?

Almost 50% of all possible sales are missed just because people can’t find the information they are looking for. Especially when they search for that information on mobile devices. What they are searching for, could well be your business details, such as the business phone number, your business address, or your business name. Many consumer say, that they find it often difficult to locate a business using their mobiles. This can cost a business a lot of missed opportunities.

19% of local smartphone searches leads to a purchase within 24 hours. That means you have no choice anymore but to optimize your business for local search and for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. More people are using mobile devices than the desktop in pursuit of information. If you fail to optimize your local marketing campaigns to include mobile users, you will lose customers and sales.

Mobile searches are rising at an explosive rate and pace, and your businesses is constantly competing against your local competition. There is a great deal you can do on your own, so potential customers can find you better.

Two Tips You Have To Implement As Soon As Possible.

1. Add your Business details to Local Business Directories or your local listings. If you have a local business you most likely have a website. Many local directories have added businesses and their details already without the business owner knowing. However these free listings are often incomplete and important information is missing. Make a search, see what you find, and update with the correct info.

2. Add better and more insightful information at the About Us page of your website, like your name, address, phone number. Make sure you include your opening hours. Restaurants should mention whether or not they do Take Away food or not.

Video Marketing for Dentists

Not convinced video marketing is the way of the future? Here are a few statistics to help you understand exactly how popular video marketing has become in recent years, according to news shared by HubSpot:

Video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019.
Adding a video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300%.
Embedding videos in landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%.

Broadcasting with Facebook

Make use of “Broadcast Live”

You can broadcast videos to your audiences in real time from your smartphone. You can see the actual number of users watching your broadcast and they can comment on the video in real time. You can also address comments in real time during the video being streamed.

Viewers spend up to three time longer participating in live videos than engaging with videos which are not  broadcasted in real time.


 

Users usually opt in very quickly to get notifications when someone they follow is “going live,” which helps to increase visibility. Once your video session is finished, you can publish the video to your Facebook timeline. Anyone who did not have the time to watch it live, can view it at a later date.

Apart from using this extremely powerful way to interact with your patients/clients/customers you should consider using video as part of your marketing.Without the use of video it will become harder and harder to compete and to engage with your audience. Your audience is techno clever and are very savvy when it comes to use the latest technology and they expect that YOU use it too for their benefit.

Facebook added emoji

In February 2016, Facebook added emoji “Reactions” to the News Feed after more than a year of building an alternative to the trademark “Like” button. And recently, Facebook has confirmed that using emoji “Reactions” actually influences the way your News Feed appears. In fact, Facebook weighs the emoji “Reactions” more than “Likes” to determine which content should appear towards the top of your News Feed.

 

“Over the past year we’ve found that if people leave a Reaction on a post, it is an even stronger signal that they’d want to see that type of post than if they left a Like on the post,” said Facebook in a statement via Mashable. “So we are updating News Feed to weigh reactions a little more than Likes when taking into account how relevant the story is to each person.”

Facebook’s emoji “Reactions” appear when you push down the “Like” button on the mobile app or you hover the mouse over the icon on the desktop version. The six animated emoji “Reactions” that Facebook added are Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry.

However, Facebook said that all of the “Reactions” are weighted the same as of right now. So using a Love Reaction on certain types of content will not make it appear more than a Haha. Interestingly Facebook said that the “Love” button has been the most popular of all the Reactions thus far, making up over half the Reactions used on the social network. 

In terms of advertising, Facebook “Reactions” are being treated the same as Likes for ad delivery. So “Loves” do not carry any extra weight than “Likes” for ad auctions on the social network. But the popularity of “Reactions” could be a potentially lucrative opportunity if Facebook builds a feature that allows advertisers to target users based on their emotional responses. This could help drive brand engagement and enable advertisers to learn what types of content their followers would enjoy. That is why it seems very likely that Facebook is working on developing this type of advertising feature.

Around the time that emoji “Reactions” launched, Facebook acknowledged that users were often put in the position to “like” a post about a death without distinction from how they would “like” an engagement photo. “We kept hearing from people that they didn’t have a way to express empathy,” said Facebook product manager Sammi Krug in an interview with Forbes’ Kathleen Chaykowski last year. According to AdWeek, Facebook “Reactions” hit a total of 300 billion times used at the one year mark of the feature launch. Christmas Day 2016 was the day that the most Reactions were used on Facebook. And the 10 countries where Reactions are used the most are:

1.) Mexico

2.) Chile

3.) Suriname

4.) Greece

5.) Paraguay

6.) Costa Rica

7.) Belize

8.) U.S.

9.) Brazil

10.) Uruguay

Source: Amit Chaudhry