Hootsuite Certified

How to Create a Sitemap

A site map (or sitemap) is a list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for Web design, or a Web page that lists the pages on a Web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion.   What is a Sitemap and how does it work? A sitemap provides text links of each page of a website to both humans and search engines.  They can be very helpful for search engines to understand what your site is about, especially if your main navigation is embedded in images, uses javascript, or Flash.  They are also very helpful for visitors to your site to help them quickly find the information  they are seeking. There are two different types of site maps: xml and html sitemaps. What is XML and HTML? Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable. In 2005, Google introduced the xml sitemap. HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the main markup language for creating web pages and other information that can be displayed in a web browser.   How do you create a xml sitemap? If your site is built on a WordPress platform, there are several plugins you can use that will create sitemaps for you.  If you need to create the sitemap yourself, checkout xml-sitemaps.com, a free sitemap generator tool. There are different types of xml sitemaps you can create, depending on your site and the type of content it contains: Basic web pages Image sitemaps Video sitemaps News sitemaps Make sure to Add your Sitemap to your Robots.txt File It’s a good idea to reference your sitemap in your robots.txt file (typically located in your site’s root folder) by adding the following code: Sitemap: http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml   How do you Submit a Sitemap to Google? Go to Google Webmasters  http://www.google.com/webmasters.  If you don’t have a Google account, create one.  If you do, login and click on “Add a site”, and enter the URL of your web site. Google will ask you to verify you are the owner of the site.  You can do this by uploading a file Google provides to the root of your site, where your home page resides.  Once the site has been uploaded, click on “Verify”. Once verified, click on the website you just added and choose “Sitemaps” > “Submit a Sitemap” button.  Enter in the sitemap.xml file name. It will take...
read more

SEM vs SEO?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) involves a combination of free website submissions and paid search engine listings, to ensure your website reaches customers using search engines to research purchase decisions.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art and science of increasing your website’s visibility to search engines for those important keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business.   Search Engine Marketing vs Search Engine Optimization? It is quite common for people to confuse the terms “Search Engine Marketing” and “Search Engine Optimization“! Search engine optimization is a one type of search engine marketing. Search engine advertising or search engine analytics are other types of search engine marketing. One of the most widespread beliefs about search engine marketing (SEM) is search engine advertising equals search marketing. If your online marketing firm runs advertising campaigns on Google, the firm must specialize in SEM, right? Although a common belief, it’s not entirely accurate. Search engine advertising is only one component of the search marketing process. Marketing campaigns involve branding, sales, social website engagement, customer service, distribution, trade shows, radio, TV, direct mail, and so forth. And advertising, too. So when hiring an SEM company, be sure it provides a variety of services, not only advertising. Search Engine Marketing encompasses a number of different skills, including but not limited to: Search engine optimization Search engine advertising Link development Specialized search engine optimization (video, local, mobile, etc.) User engagement marketing Content strategy Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Search engine optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in asearch engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search,local search, video search, academic search,  news search and industry-specific vertical search engines. As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic. Search Engine Advertising Search Engine Advertising is a method of placing online advertisements on Web pages that show...
read more

Social Media Marketing 101

Creating a basic social media presence is easy enough, getting your community to actually do something is more difficult. Taking advantage of the following strategies can help you build your community, make your marketing more effective, and incentivize buying. What is Social Media Marketing Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself. Hence, this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth, meaning it results in earned media rather than paid media. Emergence of Social Media Marketing in Bali Social media is a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access. Increased communication for organizations fosters brand awareness and often, improved customer service. Additionally, social media serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for organizations to implement marketing campaigns. Social networking websites and blogs in Bali Social networking websites allow individuals to interact with one another and build relationships. When companies join the social channels, consumers can interact with them. That interaction feels personal to users because of their previous experiences with social networking site interactions. How does Social Media Marketing work? Social networking sites and blogs allow individual followers to “retweet” or “repost” comments made by the product being promoted. By repeating the message, all of the users connections are able to see the message, therefore reaching more people. Social networking sites act as word of mouth. Because the information about the product is being put out there and is getting repeated, more traffic is brought to the product/company. Through social networking sites, companies can interact with individual followers. This personal interaction can instill a feeling of loyalty into followers and potential customers. Also, by choosing whom to follow on these sites, products can reach a very narrow target audience. Audience Data and Analytics Social networking sites also include a vast amount of information about what products and services prospective clients might be interested in. Through the use of new Semantic Analysis technologies, marketers can detect buying signals, such as content shared by people and questions posted online. Understanding of buying signals can help sales people target relevant...
read more

How to Create a Google Places Page

What is Google Places? Google Places has become the phone book of the Internet. According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Getting your business registered and verified with Google Places is essential to being found in the search engines.  Setting up an account is easy and free! Why add your listing with Google Places? Once you’ve verified your listing, you can enhance the Place Page for your business by adding photos, videos, coupons, and even real-time updates like weekly specials all on your Place Page. Verifying your listing gives you the opportunity to share even more information about your business with Google. How it works Google uses data from many sources to compose local business listings. Each listing includes information from one or more sources, such as third-party providers, user edits, and verified business owner records. To make sure the basic information you submit is accurate, we’ll ask you to verify it first by entering a PIN that will be sent to either your business address or phone number. You can add other information to your listing too—such as a description of your business, photos, reviews, or information about hours. Before you get started, there are a few things to keep in mind: Right now, Google Places is available for businesses in only certain countries. To find out if your country is one of them, click Add new listing when signed in to your Google Places account. Check the country drop down at the top of the sign-up page. Or, just see the list below. Country availability Andorra Ethiopia Latvia Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Finland Morocco Solomon Islands Afghanistan Fiji Madagascar Seychelles Angola France Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Sweden Argentina Gabon Mongolia Singapore American Samoa United Kingdom Macao Slovenia Austria Ghana Northern Mariana Islands Slovakia Australia Gambia Malta Sierra Leone Bangladesh Greece Mauritius Senegal Belgium Guam Maldives Sao Tome and Principe Bulgaria Hong Kong Malawi Chad Bahrain Croatia Mexico Togo Burundi Hungary Malaysia Thailand Benin Indonesia Mozambique Tajikistan Brunei Darussalam Ireland Namibia Turkmenistan Brazil Israel New Caledonia Tunisia Bhutan India Nigeria Tonga Botswana Iraq Netherlands Turkey Canada Iceland Norway Taiwan Democratic Republic of the Congo Italy Nepal Tanzania, United Republic of Central African Republic Jordan New Zealand Ukraine Congo Japan Oman Uganda Switzerland Kenya French Polynesia United States Côte d’Ivoire Kyrgyzstan Papua New Guinea Uzbekistan Chile Cambodia Philippines Viet Nam China Republic of Korea...
read more