I’m sure that lots of you are just like me – completely overwhelmed by the plethora of social media. Sometimes I feel obliged to spend all my time tweeting, liking and hanging out on those sites. To be honest, I can’t face up to the task so I hardly ever do it. Anyway, is it really worthwhile? Let’s have a look.
I have to admit that I was never a big fan of Facebook, Twitter and the rest of the social media.
Facebook seemed like a hangout for family and friends, not a conduit for business PR.
Twitter’s 140-character limit seemed too, well, limiting to make it useful. (I have to say that Stephen Fry’s much-trumpeted presence there put me off it a bit too. Yes, he’s very clever. But doesn’t he like to let you know it?)
LinkedIn used to be a useful if rather dull way of connecting with business acquaintances and building networks – a bit like FriendsReunited for the business world. But they’ve spoilt it in recent months by turning themselves into a sort of pinstripe Facebook.
As for Google+… well, everyone’s got a profile, but who actually spends time updating it?
I have a Google+ account. Apparently everyone with a Google account has one. I never use mine and was curious to find out if anyone had ever used theirs to the benefit of their business. And so, I set out on a quest to find someone who could show they’d benefited from it, and explain how. I saddled up my Internet pony and trotted off to my usual haunts (some of them are behind paywalls) to see what people would say about it. I was asking a simple question.
As anyone trying to promote an online business knows, you need to build traffic. And the first thing most people think about for getting traffic is Google. If you can rank high in Google, it will bring you loads of free traffic. Right? Erm, well it’s sorta right in theory but it doesn’t make so much sense in practice. Let’s have a look at some myths.
Someone mentioned long-tail keyword strategy to me recently and I expressed scepticism as to whether it still worked these days. Quite reasonably, he asked me why I had that opinion, and “Er, just because that’s what I think” didn’t seem like a good enough answer. I had to justify my views somehow. Thus I spent the next few days reading everything up-to-date I could get my hands on about the subject, plus asking a lot of questions on various forums. Some of the discussions are behind paywalls so I can’t link to all my sources. Let’s see how I got on in my quest to discover if targeting the long tail is a good strategy or not in 2013.
I’m always on my soap box complaining about link builders, and some people have asked me why I have such a hive of bees in my bonnet about them. This posting is an attempt to explain my take on the issue. As always, if I’ve got it wrong, feel to use the comments box below to correct me or to give your own views on the matter. This is just how I see it.
Several years ago, there was a simple recipe for success on the Internet for those who didn’t have the skills to create their own products or even to add anything useful to the Internet. The simple recipe was to do keyword research, find high value keywords, provide ‘good enough’ content, do a link building campaign, rank high in Google, and rake the money in. What most of these things had in common was that they relied on having a high rank in Google to get the free traffic. Most Internet-savvy people know that this doesn’t work any more.