Monday, August 27, 2012

Optimize Your Pinterest

The power of search engine optimization doesn’t need to just be confined to your website and blog.  All of your social media pages, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or even Pinterest, should be optimized.  When we optimize, we prefer to optimize all the way, so this way you are maximizing your potential to be ranked higher by search engines.  While algorithms probably have not been accounting for likes, pins and comments quite yet, we certainly are starting to see more and more Pinterest results appearing in Google.  Here are some tips on optimizing your Pinterest page:

Don’t just repin, upload some of your own images:  Don’t get us wrong, repining is a big part of Pinterest’s purpose, but try to have an equal balance of pins that are repined from others and your own uploads.  Uploading your own images will have more weight when it comes to optimization.  Repining other peoples’ pins can help increase your page’s popularity.  After all, this is social media!

Pin from a variety of sources: Don’t pull all of your pins from one source.  Try uploading from multiple sources.  Having a variety of images from all different sources will help make your Pinterest page more interesting as opposed to other people or companies' pages repining from the same sources all the time.  Variety is the spice of life!

Name images you upload with keywords: The file name you have saved your images as can become important when it comes to optimizing your Pinterest page.  Instead of uploading a picture with a file name like 5832058209.jpg try something like chocolate-cake-recipe.jpg.  Make the file name relevant to what your picture and board are about.  If your entire board is about chocolate cake and the picture you’re uploading is a picture of chocolate cake with a recipe attached, then name it accordingly.  You want your chocolate cake board to utilize the keywords chocolate cake as much as possible. 

Leave lengthy descriptions: Pinterest always allows users to leave a description of up to 500 words.  Here’s the challenge: 500 words can be a little lengthy and perhaps be deemed as annoying or overkill, but we say use those words up.  Make your descriptions lengthy with plenty of keywords. 

Name your board appropriately: Pay close attention to what you name your boards since the titles of your boards will be apart of the search engine optimization process.  Say you own an Italian Restaurant and you want your page to come up in Italian Cuisine search results, then don’t name your board “Food We Love” or “Food We Make.”  Name it simply “Our Italian Cuisine.” 

As a Chicago Marketing Company, we have really been able to see the different search engine optimization makes for our clients.  Don't just optimize your website.  Optimize your social media pages as well to achieve optimal results.  If you have comments or questions on anything SEO related feel free to drop us a comment or contact us.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why Your Website Needs SEO Today

Here at Integraphix we fully believe in the power of Search Engine OptimizationSearch Engine Optimization, or SEO, is essentially the process of improving your website’s keyword usage, content, graphics and organization to achieve better search engine rankings amongst engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing.  We are not just a Chicago Design Firm, in fact we do much more than just design. Through SEO we make websites visitor and search engine friendly.  We are a full service Chicago Marketing Company that simply wants to see our clients succeed and one way we know how to help our clients is to build websites that are fully optimized.  Here are some of our top reasons why you need to optimize your website:

(1) More traffic to your website: The main reason you probably have a website is to generate business by attracting new customers and maintaining relationships with all of your current customers, right?  SEO will help you drive more traffic to your website.  Search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing will rank your site higher for relevant keywords, which will help usher in traffic to your website.  Choosing the right keywords and being ranked highly for those keywords will get you more traffic or visitors to your page, which should help bring you more business.

(2) Improves your website's overall appearance: Chicago SEO companies, or any SEO Company for that matter, typically recommend changes to your website that will greatly improve its appearance and functionality.  Having a more functional, aesthetically appealing website will help attract customers that you are attaining through the SEO process.  How will the improved appearance help your rank higher?  Well-organized websites tend to rank higher than unorganized websites, which makes sense.  Organized websites are easier for search engines and visitors to read.  Optimized websites use fewer large graphics, have fewer irrelevant pages or posts, and load faster, which will no doubt help your website maintain and attract new traffic. 

(3) You can spend less on online advertising: With SEO you are essentially advertising your website for free.  There’s no need to deal with pesky pay-per-click ads when you are doing SEO.  Yes, the process of SEO can take time and be a tad time consuming, but in the end it’s worth the money you will save on doing less online advertising.  SEO is a process that takes time to go into effect and build up, but once it does it will pay for itself probably more than a burst of online ads.

(4) Your website becomes your ultimate sales tool: When optimized, your website becomes one of your best assets and biggest sales tool.  You may be in bed sleeping, but millions of people are up late at night and they’re checking out your website and perhaps, they’re buying your products all while your catching some zzzz’s.  Your website needs to be more than just some brochure that people either (A) never see or (B) disregard and SEO is the key to avoiding both the A and B. 

We know SEO can be a confusing topic, so feel free to comment on this post or speak directly with us.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Making a Social Media Plan

Creating a social media plan is probably one of the smartest tactics to implement to help your business succeed.  A social media plan will outline your goals for your social media use and will help you achieve them.  Even as a Chicago Internet Marketing Firm we have our own social media plan for ourselves and our clients.  Being successful using social media isn’t all about posting a million times a day (if anything, don’t do that, people will ignore you!) it’s about the quality of what you’re posting and doing it on a rather regular basis.  Here are a few steps you should take when you develop a social media plan for your business: 

Step ONE: Outline Your goals- First, identify what you hope to accomplish with social media. Not all social media sites are created equal, so outlining your goals will help you choose what sites will best help you work towards your goals and eventually, achieve them.

Step TWO: Stay Focused- Establishing your presence on social media takes time, so don’t lose hope and try to stay focused.  Be patient.  Use the goals you outlined in step one to help you stay focused and on the right track.  If you feel unfocused, remind yourself of what you want to achieve and reengage yourself!

Step THREE: Check out your target audience or current fans- Does your business already have fans?  If so, see where they hang out in the realm of social media and start there.  Engage with them by being a strong presence wherever they are.  No fans yet?  That’s okay.  Start by identifying your target audience and check out their social media site use via demographic research.  You and your business need to be in the center of where your fans or target audience are.

Step FOUR: Scheduling- Create a schedule to help you determine how and when (frequency) you’ll engage with your fans or target audience.  Creating a schedule keeps you accountable and when it becomes a habit you’ll be able to keep up with posting more easily and perhaps stay engaged more easily as well.  Start engaging with your target audience and users and you may be surprised by how often they’ll begin engaging with you.

Step FIVE: Content, Content, Content!- Social media isn’t all about selling yourself and your product.  It’s about being social and connecting with people, who may (if you do it right!) at some point, be very interested in what your company is selling.  Don’t provide them with endless amounts of status updates or tweets about your company.  Give them something to talk about at the water cooler.  Give them industry information.  Your posts and tweets should mainly be relevant to the industry your business is in.  Write a blog, explore relevant trends and show your fans and target audience case studies and infographics.  Position yourself as the expert in your industry and you’re likely to succeed. 

Step SIX: Contests and Promotions- Every couple of months run a contest or promotion to keep your fans and target audience coming back for more.  A contest or promotion is an opportunity for you and your business to be seen by a greater number of people on a larger platform.  A contest or promotion encourages fans and followers to keep up with you and your company, so it’s worth the legwork. 

These steps will help keep you and your business on the right track with your social media use.  Looking for more tips on creating a social media plan or have a comment?  We always love to talk social media, so contact us.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Create More Engagement on Pinterest

We are not just Chicago Graphic Designers, we are also social media experts.  We love trying new social media sites and seeing how they can help our clients.  When it’s being used by the right client, Pinterest has a ton of potential to capture a target audience.  Here are some of our tips on how to create more engagement on your Pinterest page:
 (1) Fill your boards with tons of pictures:  Every once and awhile you may come across something you want to pin that doesn’t have a picture that is attached.  Try to only pin things that have a picture since pictures are a big part of what makes Pinterest interesting for users.  Aesthetically, it will look better on your boards as well.  

(2) Make your boards interesting: Your boards need to do two things for followers- help and entertain.  Typically, Pinterest users are looking to learn or be entertained, so do a little of both.  Provide followers with boards that will be entertaining, but will also teach them something related to your brand.  Just keep all your boards and pins related to your company and industry. 

(3) Allow contributors: Pinterest gives you the option to allow contributors to post on your boards.  Allowing contributor posts helps you draw in fans of your company.  Allowing someone to contribute to your boards means you’ll have more people adding pins to your boards besides just yourself.   Adding contributors helps shape your page and boards around your audience and will help increase your popularity. 

(4) Contests:  There are a wide variety of different contests or competitions you can run for your Pinterest page these days.  Contests are great because they drive interactivity on your page.  Scavenger hunts, pin and wins, and most repins are common types of contests found on the social media site, so try out a contest and see how many people you can get involved.  There could be a huge payoff in the form of people visiting your website. 

(5) Analyze your page: As you should with all of your social media sites, make sure you are taking the time to analyze your Pinterest progress. Check out the “Popular Pins” section often.  This page shows you what pins are the most popular and who is sharing them.  The people sharing those pins may be people you want to connect with.  The popular pins section also gives you ideas on what types of things you should pin to drive traffic on your Pinterest page.  You should keep track of what is being pinned from your site to help get a better idea of the types of things you should pin more frequently.

Use these tips on your Pinterest page or build off of these tips as a springboard for even bigger ideas.  Looking for social media tips and tricks, contact us.