Simple Flying Tips to Help You Avoid Being an Aloof Tool

Flying TipsThe need to travel for business spiked in the last year and it seems I am on a plane every few weeks. The frequent travel, my acute awareness powers and ability to easily recognize a travel noob has driven me to write this post. Whether it is your first time flying or if you have evolved into an aloof tool these air traveling tips are for you.

There are many stages of air travel that we will explore while providing valuable wisdom to ensure your next flight is enjoyable for all.

Packing
Do you really need all the bags you packed? Does a two or four night trip really require five bags? Realize you will be transporting and lugging all of those bags to and through an airport. Practice moving all of your bags from one room to another at home. Places chairs, children, dollies and other objects throughout your path to replicate an airport filled with people.

If you cannot carry all your bags then you should not pack as many. If you can carry all of your bags yet proceed to injure or destroy the objects between your starting point and destination point then again consider leaving a suitcase or two behind.

Check Baggage
There is a limited amount of room in the cabin of an airplane. Even the really big planes can only hold so many suitcases under or above your seat. Each airline posts size limits alerting travelers which pieces of luggage should be checked and which can accompany you to your seat. There are also well established limits on how many items you can carry-on the plane. Typically, one small sized piece of luggage and one personal item (purse, laptop bag).

You are not permitted to bring on five small pieces of luggage onto the plane. Check in a few because trying to drag five through the security lines (see that circus below) and trying to get that many onto the plane in the cabin will result is disastrous failure. Save yourself and those traveling on the same flight the hassle.

Security Lines
Airport security has been around ever since I took my first flight circa 1979 so it is understandable why this novel annoyance can be made even more miserable by an air-for-brains traveler. Compounding this problem is the recent advances in airport security; i.e. the ID check and metal detector.

Lets tackle the easy one first. An ID check is when someone wants to identify you. Just saying your name does not cut it. The security agent wants to see your airline ticket with your name on it and compare that name with some photo identification. The photo identification should be government issued with your name on it; presumably the same name on the airline ticket. A driver’s license or passport will suffice. Please leave your high school student body card behind. Also, remember this happens every time you travel so when you get in the security line have your ID and airline ticket in your hand or an easily accessible location every time you are going to fly. How about a front pant or coat pocket and not at the bottom of your carry-on.

Now for one of the most challenging portions of the security line; the metal detectors. The term itself should be self-explanatory yet for some every encounter with the metal detector is more impossible than qualifying as an Olympic Decathlete. These are devices that you will walk through and they detect metal. That means if you have metal on your body when you walk through one the machine will detect it. You will be asked to remove all metal and then walk through it again. The rest of us behind you will agonizingly watch you repeat this process. Thankfully the person removes their watch. But of course the first warning about removing metal failed to sink in completely because most will give a second attempt knowing full well they are still wearing a thick gold 70’s style bracelet. Oh you did not realize gold is a metal; my bad.

Here are a few other common items that may have metal or require removal before you even think about getting into a metal detector line:

  • Metal DetectorBelt (whether it is metal or not remove it)
  • Jacket, coat, zipped hoodie (whether it is metal or not remove it)
  • Jewelry
  • Watches
  • Guns
  • Knifes
  • Metal things
  • Rebar
  • Shoes (whether it is metal or not remove it)
  • Other metal things you think the metal detector will not detect (Trust me it will detect metal)

Remove your computer from the carrying case and place it in the tote alone when placing it on the screening conveyor belt. Do the same for your liquids and gel-based toiletries. Hair-gel, hair spray, toothpaste, mouth wash, shampoo, conditioner and more apply. Do not remove any of those items and put in your pockets. Put them in a tote and send them on the conveyor through the scanning device.

Bonus tip: This also happens every time you fly. So start removing these objects before you are the next person in line to go through the metal detector.

Boarding a Plane
Similar to over-throwing an ensconced dictator, boarding an airplane requires agility, foresight and really good listening skills. The airline ticket will include a flight number. Some really big monitors throughout the airport will communicate which gate your airplane is located. Go to that gate and wait for a gate official to announce who can board and when. It is never a free for all (although I have not traveled on Southwest or any other economy airlines recently. Those may be a free for all so disregard this section if that is the case).

The gate person will say things like, “First class can only board now.” That means only people with a first class ticket can board. Do you have a first class ticket in your hand? No? Then do not try to board the airplane. You may also hear the following groups can board at a certain time:

  • Parents with small children
  • Elderly
  • Infirm
  • Gold Class Members
  • Section 15 and above
  • Row 6

If any of those groups are called and you do not meet those qualifications then please do not attempt to board. The gate official will turn you away and you have delayed boarding by a handful of seconds. “What is a handful? Now you are being so nitpicky.” Multiply a few seconds by the five people that try to board at an inappropriate time for each flight. Then multiply that number by the amount of times you will travel in your life and you will realize precious days were burned because of imbeciles trying to sneak on-board too early.

Can we let out a sigh of relief since we got past the gate person? NO. Now you must find your seat and I emphasize the “YOUR SEAT” part. Match the seat number found on your ticket with the designated seat number of the seat on the plane you are boarding. So if your ticket says you are sitting in 15A I suggest your find 15A and sit there. SixA, 28B, 14C will not do because someone else has been assigned those seats. Those seat numbers are on other airline tickets. Ones not in your possession.

Once you find your seat stow your carry-on items quickly. Know there is a bin above your seat for a larger item and space under the seat in front of you for your smaller item. This is where checking the right luggage comes in handy. Say you actually get a massive suitcase past everyone. When you try to shove that behemoth ten day trip bag in the overhead bin you will find this an insurmountable task.

Traveling TipsHark back to your toddler years when your favorite toy required you put the star shaped object through the star shaped hole. The rectangle shape never fit through the star shaped hole. Surprisingly, only the star shape fit through the star shaped hole. Now picture the small sport utility sized vehicle you are trying desperately to shove into a tiny space. It will not work. What will happen is a flight attendant will observe your miserable attempt and ask/demand you check your bag. They now need to walk down a small aisle filled with people trying to get to their seats, not your seat, while carrying your big suitcase. Boarding passengers will need to back track out of the plane or sit on laps of already seated passengers and no one wins.

Once you are in your seat you will be required to TURN OFF YOUR ELECTRONIC DEVICES. Similar to figuring out what metal is, an electronic device is an object that has a power source. Like a battery. Common devices include cell phones, portable music playing things, computers, tablets and eReaders. In other words, iPads, iPods, iPhones, Kindles, Nooks, other mobile-like phones that go in your pocket and do not require an analog wire or base that you commonly use in your home. Keep them off until electronic devices are allowed on. The flight attendants will check and if you are watching a movie on your Galaxy S tablet they will tell you to turn it off. Ignoring them does not make them go away. Ignoring them delays the plane from moving. If the plane does not move the plane will not get you and everyone else on the plane to the destination. What is the happiness level of the other passengers when you refuse to stop watching Yentil thus preventing the plane from moving? Not very high. People want to break your expensive toy; they want to break it real bad.

Do not recline your seat or put down your tray table either until the plane is at a designated cruising altitude. Just like the electronic device issue above failing to comply will result in a non-moving plane.

Deplaning
Once the plane lands and arrives at the destination gate it is time to get off the plane. Most planes only open one exit for deplaning so note which door has opened up and migrate in that direction. Here are a few treasured nuggets to assist you in this goal:

  • Do not forget your carry-ons
  • If seated in the last row of the plane and the open deplaning door is at front wait your $%!&ing turn (That means you will exit last)
  • Do not bull over people in the very narrow aisle to get ahead one person

Once you are off the plane and into the gate area you most likely are no longer in a position to vex your fellow passengers. At this point feel free to wander around in confusion and let the stupid ooze from your pores. Go ahead and tempt airport security with innuendo that you possess weapons. Try boarding another plane without a ticket for that flight. Select a random carousel at baggage claim and wonder why your suitcase was lost.

I sincerely hope some of this advice will aid smoother future travel for you, me and everyone else that uses airplanes. Did I miss any flying tips?

Copyscape – The Best Plagiarism Checker for Bloggers

Copyscape LogoAs a blogger or even a website editor you spend countless hours writing and sharing your knowledge. Some articles might flow easily at your cerebral fingertips, but other articles might require lengthy research, interviews, citations and deep thought. When your work is shared throughout the Social Media space or blogosphere you may feel a sense of pride that work has had an impact. However, there are some people on the Internet that will steal your valuable content because they are flat out lazy and are looking to make money online through advertising; usually Google AdSense. Copyscape is your best bet as a plagiarism checker.

Think it does not happen? It does all the time everyday. These clowns scrape your site with a program to copy your content and then use your prose to populate pages on their own web properties. They even steal the images from the page creating a near exact replica of your article. They create sites around a subject matter that is valuable in the pay-per-click advertising world. Their goal is to make a website that ranks high organically on the search engine result pages.

Search Engine Result Pages

Search Engine Result Pages

It can be a shame when their copied page outranks your page stealing valuable referral traffic and worse yet potential customers. How do you stop this? First you must locate the nefarious culprits. That is where Copyscape enters the picture. Enter a URL of one of your articles and press “Copyscape Search.” You might see some disturbing results.

Copyscape

For our example I am using an article about non-Canadian citizens being denied entry into Canada if they have a DUI conviction. The first few results are examples of the article being copied, but the content was used to answer someone’s question posted in a forum or Yahoo! Answers-like websites. The two entries outlined in red are troublesome. These two sites are entirely populated with copied content. The pages are littered with pay-per-click advertising and clearly the site design was slapped together. Fortunately, they have a “Contact” page and have published their email address. Otherwise, you would need to do a “Whois” look-up to find how to contact the site owner.

Once the plagiarizer is found you then need to send a cease and desist letter to the content stealing culprit. In the letter you clearly state they need to take down your work product. Point out the URL of your article and the URL where your copied content exists. Give them a few days to remove the content and mention if they fail to comply you will alert their website hosting company, their domain registrar and legal support at Google, Bing and Yahoo!. If the SPAMMER will not remove the content then all those parties just mentioned will help in having that content removed.

Using Copyscape is free, but they do have a premium service as well, but I am not familiar with that offering. The free plagiarism checker feature has suited me quite well over the years. Now find out if your blog is being copied. Happy hunting.

6 Mobile Website Design Hints for an Optimized User Experience

Mobile Website DesignMore and more companies are releasing mobile website experiences with the explosion of smartphone sales and smartphone Internet usage. In fact, the behavior of the mobile user provides staggering support for launching a mobile site. Take advantage of the millions searching and surfing the Internet while on their smartphone. Give those visitors an opportunity to engage with your brand and make it easy for them to complete a valuable conversion. Below are six simple mobile website design hints and screenshots of a couple good mobile site designs.

Add a phone number to your mobile website homepage
Smartphones usually make phone numbers on websites hot, so the user can simply tap the number and their phone will start dialing your business. Make contacting you as easy as possible so add your phone number to the homepage instead of making the visitor tap a “Contact Us” page.

Add a conversion on the homepage
Again, do not make the visitor click around your mobile website in order to find a call to action. Make a bold statement with that valuable conversion right on the homepage.

Reduce the standard desktop website experience for your mobile site
Viewing a website on a desktop is a completely different experience from viewing a mobile website. You must strip down the experience and only provide a handful of simple pathways to actionable content. Do not become persuaded by every business group to add their content. Focus on your core transactions.

Reduce page load time
The user may not be right in the middle of a hotspot therefore their download speed could be quite slow. Ensure your mobile website loads fast for every situation.

DO NOT build your mobile website in Flash
The iPhone is one of the largest players in the smartphone market and does not support Flash. Soon HTML5 will replace Flash as well. Do not create a mobile website that can be viewed by only half of your potential customers.

Make sure your mobile website layout can fit various screen sizes
Smartphone screen size varies drastically and do not forgot about the exploding tablet market. Screen sizes for tablets also vary wildly. Make use of CSS to provide the best layout experience for all your visitors.

This is not an exhaustive list of mobile design optimization hints, but they are very important and should be discussed with your mobile website design team. Now lets look at a few mobile site designs that follow the advice above.

Mobile Site Design Layout

NCLUD makes it easy to call their phone number and offers a call to action. It also is a minimized experience and gives the visitor only a few click options.

Domino's Pizza Mobile Website

Domino’s Pizza gets right down to business. It is simple and only provides the visitor with actionable options that will lead to a sale. They give the user an opportunity to make an easy conversion.

Bloggers You Are Missing Out on Image Search Traffic

Image Optimization for Image SearchMany of my friends blog and they always ask for search engine optimization hints. They want to know every way possible to increase their organic referral traffic. They also cannot afford having a full-time or part-time SEO consultant working on their blog or website, so I must give them SEO advice that they can implement on their own. Image optimization is one easy SEO task any blogger can leverage to increase search engine traffic. Just about every blogger adds at least one image to a post. Do not waste that opportunity to attract more eyeballs to your blog.

The first step is doing some keyword research to determine the keywords you want to target for your blog post. Generally, you want to target one primary keyword and have a few related terms that are incorporated into the blog post content. Those same keywords will be used to optimize the image or images in the blog post.

Before you upload your image to your blogging platform or through FTP to your blog server you must name the image filename properly. That is right the filename is important. Do not name your images fa098fwew08.jpg. No one is searching for the term “fa098fwew08” and no one is searching for the stereotypical web developer naming conventions; header_image_banner_340x720.jpg. Users do not see the filename unless they view your blog’s source code or save the image.

Next you must add your targeted keyword to the image ALT text attribute. Search engine cannot read or view the image. They cannot determine the content of the image, but only know there is an image file within the content. The image ALT text is an attribute is your opportunity to describe the content of that particular image. This is another great opportunity to use your targeted keyword. The image ALT text can be viewed by a user in some browsers when they hover their mouse over the image.

Text surrounding the image or a caption is another opportunity to assist the search engines in determining the content of the image, but keep in mind this is content the user will see. Use your targeted keyword in a manner that makes sense.

So lets optimize the glorious image below:

Batman Dark Knight Rises Poster Image

If I were writing a blog post for the upcoming Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises I would do keyword research around that phrase. For this post we are going to assume “Batman Dark Knight Rises” is the best keyword.

Image filename = batman-dark-knight-rises.jpg

Image ALT text = Batman Dark Knight Rises Poster Image

Caption = Batman Dark Knight Rises

I presumably would also write content about that movie since I was using that image for my blog post. So the written content near the image is about my targeted keyword which is also the keyword I am using for image optimization. When someone is using Google or Bing Image Search and they are seeking images about the Dark Knight Rises the goal is your image ranks high for that search query. When the user clicks on that image in the Image Search results page they are directed to your blog post. More traffic from the search engines!

You also want to do the following to increase your Image Search performance:

  • Always upload your images to the same folder and allow the search engines to crawl that folder
  • Keep the image file size low
  • Create a photo sharing account and post your images (Flickr)
  • Do not create a page plastered with images and no content

For that last point you want the image or images to support your written content. Also, search engines cannot read images, so do not write your content in the image.

Finally, why did I use the Batman image as an example? Because Batman is flat out awesome. He is so awesome I am even wearing a Batman t-shirt as I write this post.

Changing Your Website URLs? Learn About the 301 Redirect

301 Redirect - SEO RedirectsThe 301 redirect is the single most important thing to learn before launching a new URL scheme for a legacy website. Especially if your legacy website has been around for years and has accrued valuable external links and authority. First lets discuss why a URL is important so you can understand why a 301 redirect is vital for any URL structure change.

Think of a URL as a fine bottle of wine. With age most wines get better. This same premise is true for URLs. The longer a URL is live the greater the chance that URL has accrued backlinks or external links (Links from other websites pointing to that URL). External links are a strong signal for the search engines to determine the subject matter of a page and the trust and authority of the destination page. In simplistic terms, the more backlinks the better as long as those links are coming from trusted and authoritative websites. A link from my blog to your site might be nice, but it will not be as grand as a static link from the CNN.com homepage to your site. CNN.com has been around much longer is has insane amounts of trust and authority from the search engines. However, a link from my site is much better than a link from many other ones. Also, the longer a URL has existed helps with the trust level. A new page never does well out of the gates whereas your older pages perform better.

Now for the scary part. You want to redesign your website and that includes reorganizing all the content which in turn means publishing a completely different URL structure. Every page on the site will have a brand new URL. All that accrued page authority, trust and links DO NOT TRANSFER to the new URLs. The search engines have no clue that < www.mysite.com/contact/ > has now moved to < www.mysite.com/about/contact.php >.  Your new design will basically signal to the search engines that your site is “brand new.” Your authoritative site that has earned high levels of trust and authority and thousands of backlinks will be treated like any other new website.

Hold up for a second and do not let the panic attack ruin your day with that news. There is a solution that will transfer a vast majority of your site trust and authority and will re-route all of those valuable external links to your new website URLs. Let me introduce you to the 301 redirect.

A 301 redirect is a change of address notice for the search engines. When you move from Home A to Home B you must tell the United States Postal Service about this so your mail will arrive at your new residence. The 301 redirect is the change of address notice for search engines. Only 301 redirects transfers trust, authority and link juice of your external links to the new URLs. SEOmoz has done some testing and feel that 90% to 99% of page value is transferred. There are other redirect methods, but they do not transfer value. The 301 redirect is the only solution you can use to transfer the value of your older URLs to your new URLs.

What is the preferred method of implementing a 301 redirect?

Creating 301 redirects can be tedious or incredibly simple depending upon your Content Management System (CMS) and how your site is setup. Your site developers might be able to execute rewrite code on the server or you may need to manually write out the 301 redirects in an .htaccess file.

No matter which implementation method is selected you must redirect at a page to page level. That means old URL of Page A must be redirected to new URL of Page A. So < www.mysite.com/contact/ > must be redirected to < www.mysite.com/about/contact.php >. Do not get lazy and redirect all of your old URLs to the homepage of your new site. It makes for a bad user experience and it will negatively impact your organic referral traffic in the long run.

In some site redesigns content might be retired and a new URL will not exist for the legacy page. Yet the retired content has accrued valuable backlinks and authority. In that case I would redirect the retired page to a URL that will exist on the new site that has similar on-page content.

So if you have three legacy pages of “Online Community Management” content and your plan is to only have one page on the redesigned site about “Online Community Management” then your redirects would look like this:

mysite.com/community1/  >>> mysite.com/community-management/

mysite.com/community2/  >>> mysite.com/community-management/

mysite.com/community3/  >>> mysite.com/community-management/

In the example above, we are preserving the trust and authority and re-routing all the accrued link juice from external links of three legacy pages to the new and single “Online Community Management” webpage.

Do not forsake the value of your legacy URLs. If you do then expect your organic referral traffic to plummet and do not expect it to rebound for a very long time. Utilize 301 redirects and keep those eyeballs coming to your site.

Yahoo! Releases the 10 Top Searches for 2011

Yahoo Top Searches for 2011Yahoo! released the ten top searches for 2011 which includes a device, television show, a catastrophic event and various individuals. I wanted to say “celebrities” instead of “individuals” but just could not bring myself to categorize some of the people listed as celebrities. At least two and a half are viewed as evil by a significant slice of society, so I did not want to recognize them the coveted status. How many of the people or search queries on the list are evil in your opinion?

  1. iPhone
  2. Casey Anthony
  3. Kim Kardashian
  4. Katy Perry
  5. Jennifer Lopez
  6. Lindsay Lohan
  7. “American Idol”
  8. Jennifer Aniston
  9. Japan Earthquake
  10. Osama bin Laden
How many of these searches were triggered by a negative event involving the search term? I suspect at least seven of the popular search terms were a result of a negative event. The divorces of Kardashian and Lopez. Casey and Lindsey’s dance with the criminal justice system. The devastating earthquake and capture of public enemy number one. Wait that is just six. Whoops, I forgot the constant train wreck that is Jennifer Aniston. Seven of the top searches relate to a negative event. What does that say about society’s thirst for knowledge on the Internet?

Keyword Density and Keyword Stuffing Boost Your LinkedIn Profile in Search

LinkedIn Profile - SearchThis past March LinkedIn announced 100 million members worldwide. So it is safe to assume there are at least hundreds of individuals on LinkedIn with your same job title and perhaps thousands within your specific industry. We are all very aware LinkedIn is mined by job recruiters looking for new candidates all the time. This is why understanding LinkedIn search is critical if you want to appear ahead of your colleagues or competitors on the LinkedIn search results page (SERP). For some I might need to explain what a SERP is before diving deeper.

Quickly log into your LinkedIn account and look for the search feature located in the upper right of the page. Enter in a search query and press enter. The next page will list in rank order results for your query; that is a SERP. For the example below I use “SEO.”

LinkedIn Search Results

“SEO” is a very popular skill to add to a LinkedIn profile as the SERP returned 306,170 results. Can there really be that many SEO professionals on LinkedIn? Turns out the answer is no. LinkedIn’s internal search engine is very rudimentary and relies heavily upon a very old and defunct SEO tactic used to increase search visibility for your website with Google, Yahoo! and Live (When Bing was Live). Their search algorithm loves keyword density and the LinkedIn profiles that appear first for “SEO” use keyword stuffing to increase their profile’s keyword density. Let’s check out Lil B, SEO Master and Daniel Gonzalez’s profiles.

Keyword Stuffing LinkedIn

That is Lil B’s entire profile. I am serious there is nothing more. Just SEO hammered out over and over again.

Daniel at least has added details to his experience listing past employment. However, toward the bottom of his profile he leverages keyword stuffing like Lil B.

There might be a few other factors that decide how profiles appear in rank order but keyword density and keyword stuffing are the most important. I added a term to my profile six additional times and went from page nine of the SERPs to page six overnight.

However, you need to find balance with this tactic on LinkedIn depending upon your goals. If you want your profile to be reviewed by recruiters do you really think a job recruiter will be impressed with Lil B’s and Daniel’s LinkedIn profile? Treat your LinkedIn profile as you would your resume. Listing “SEO” three hundred times on your resume is not going to impress a hiring manager. If anything if might land you in a loony bin.

The Shining

Also, do not implement keyword stuffing on your website thinking you will rank better in Bing, Yahoo! and Google. You will not and in fact you might incur a penalty depending upon how badly you are keyword stuffing. The discussed tactic is purely for LinkedIn’s internal search engine.

How to See if Your Site is Indexed by the Search Engines

A shocking revelation cascaded down upon me the other day. An “experienced” site manager thought you only needed to publish a website and it would be discovered by the search engines. The new website did not have an HTML sitemap or an XML sitemap. No external sites were linking to the new site and the site was not registered with either Google’s or Bing’s Webmaster Tools. There was no external promotion for the site and no Social Media blitz. It simply was published and expected to be discovered and indexed by the search engines. Never assume your point of contact for a website knows what they are doing even if you are informed they are experienced.

However, to be fair there is a chance the engines will eventually stumble upon the site by visiting domain registry sites. Long ago I purchased a domain, uploaded a test page and forgot about the site until I had to renew it 12 months later. To my surprise that one page was indexed, but since there was virtually no content it never received any search engine referral traffic, but at least the engines found it.

The site in question above however was part of a major marketing campaign for a very large gaming company. It needed to be discovered and indexed so it could generate organic referral traffic from the search engines. So how does the non-tech person know if their site is indexed asides from trusting the word of their “experienced” website manager? There is a simple search query you can enter in Google or Bing:

Google Index Operator

Now you want to see some search results which would appear like so:

Google Search Results

The search engine result page returns how many pages of my site are indexed and then lists each page. If my site had a thousand pages and only 55 were indexed then I have a problem and need to dig around to see why so many pages are not indexed.

Now you and your website are in big trouble when after entering the site: search query you receive this result:

Website Not Indexed

And if you do see this result you must immediately contact your website team and figure out what has happened. When your site is not indexed your site will not appear in the search engine result pages which means you will not get any organic search engine referral traffic. That mystery must be resolved as soon as possible.

What is in a Name? When Using Your Formal Name is a Bad Idea

What is in a Name - Formal Name UseYou company is about to embark on a website build or redesign and you get an email to provide content for your bio page. Since this is the corporate website you think you need to be corporate and your response includes your formal name.

William Ludwig O’Malley III

After all what is in a name? The decision to use your formal name makes you feel more important and more grown up. However, it might have been a serious tactical error on your part if you want people to find you when they search for your name; your real name. Ever since you were a little boy you despised being called William and you certainly never disclosed your middle name was Ludwig. The school yard torment would have skyrocketed with that bit of knowledge made public. So you have always gone by Jack O’Malley.

Even though you now appreciate your formal name and understand the honor receiving that name for the third generation you still go by Jack O’Malley. All of your friends, family, co-workers and clients know you as Jack O’Malley. This is how you introduce yourself to EVERYONE. This is exactly how people will refer you as to their friends.

When their friends need a good lawyer, dentist or whatever you are your clients and customers will refer you to as the name you go by. The name you introduce yourself as. If there are people out there searching for Jack O’Malley there is a significant chance they will never find you or your corporate website if you choose your formal name for your bio page. The search engines are very intelligent but they are not that smart. They have no clue that Jack O’Malley is also known as William Ludwig O’Malley III.

Help the search engines and your referrals searching for you by using your real name on your corporate bio page. Lawyers and doctors are common offenders of this practice. An entire firm followed this advice and immediately witnessed an increase in discoverability using their real names. Make it easy being found by the search engines.

Link Building Campaign Idea Leveraging Your Monthly Newsletter

Link Building Campaign IdeasMany struggle with link building campaign ideas, but there are dozens of creative ways to snare those coveted gems. Companies often times publish monthly newsletters with very high subscription numbers. The people receiving the newsletter are your customers and raving fans. You have already built a strong relationship with these individuals because they use your product or service.

It is now time to leverage that relationship and simply ask or subtly encourage a backlink to your site. Depending upon your readership it might be just that simple. Request they backlink to your site. Write a newsletter article clearly explaining how they can add a link from their website to yours. Make sure you provide the specific URL you want as the link destination and provide the anchor text of the link.

Before you tear your eyes away to draft that newsletter article lets talk about the anchor text or link text of the backlink. DO NOT WASTE it on your company or brand name. Use this opportunity to gain links using valuable keywords as the anchor text. That means you need to do some keyword research and evaluate your current backlinks as well as those of your competition.

If making this request in an entire newsletter article is too burdensome than make the request subtly. Add a wrapper module with instructions on how to link back to your website. With this approach you can keep the module as a permanent part of your newsletter wrapper so your readers will have the opportunity to see it every month. Again, it is important you provide them with the specific URL and anchor text to gain the maximum value from those links.

Still feel uncomfortable about this link building tactic? Don’t be. I have managed many communities. Large B2C ones with millions of members to very small ones involving powerful thought leaders. Two very different demographics and relationships yet they both are very willing to add a link back to your site. Leverage their affinity for your product or service and gain those links!