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Picks of the Week: Jan. 8-14, 2011

Every week, we pull together our favorite articles of the week. The ones that made us think, or that we found to be exceptionally helpful resources. Today, we take a look at: what socail media marketers should understand about SEO, how mobile trends might impact search, how companies can keep their brand's voice strong when outsourcing content, and PR's not-so-secret-anymore weapon: content marketing.

Search Marketing & Social Media

The Social Media Marketer's SEO Checklist

There is increasingly more overlap between SEO and social media, as Google and Bing now use Twitter and Facebook to influence search results. In this article, Jennifer Sable Lopez provides tips to make your social campaigns more search-friendly, including:

  • Do keyword research, and then insert priority keywords into Tweets and Facebook status updates.
  • Set up social segments for tracking so you can monitor social traffic easily through Google Analytics.
  • Select the right URL shorteners. You want one that does a 301 redirect from the short URL to yours and that provide some click analytics.
  • Improve the chances of your content getting shared by providing social-sharing buttons on it and maybe even an easy way to copy the link.
  • Check your page load time to ensure it can handle content that goes viral.
  • Optimize the title tag and meta description of your content, as this is pulled onto your Facebook page when the article is shared
  • Track the click-through-rates of your Tweets and make adjustments to improve them.

For more details on these details, read Jennifer’s full article.

Search Marketing & Mobile

What’s the Future of Mobile Search and SEO?

After sharing stats on mobile adoption and comparing browser habits on mobile device vs. computer, Rand Fishkin offers the following predictions about the mobile market and its impact on SEO:

  • More queries will be done on mobile devices
  • There will be a single set of SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages)
  • There will be little need for mobile sites
  • Companies will need mobile-specific ad strategies
  • Apps will continue to grow in popularity
  • Localized content will matter more

His prediction about mobile sites caught our attention, as we frequently hear about the need for mobile-friendly websites. Rand’s rationale? “As the mobile experience gets ever closer to mimicking that of the laptop/desktop, I suspect we'll be searching on our mobiles in a remarkably similar fashion to how we search everywhere else.”

However, Bryson Meunier says in Two Mobile SEO Tips for 2011 thatgiven Google’s modus operandi of providing a positive user experience... I find it difficult to believe that they would continue to encourage webmasters to provide a poor user experience to mobile users in the long term.”

If you’re deciding whether or not to launch a mobile site, consider this: With Google Analytics, you can see how many mobile visitors are coming to your site and the corresponding bounce rate. If you have a decent percentage of mobile traffic and they are bouncing at a higher rate than that of desktop users, you may want to start talking with a mobile developer, as your site may not be delivering the best user experience.

For details on all of Rand’s predictions, as well as the case behind them, see his complete article.

Content Marketing & Brand

Six Ways to Maintain Your Brand’s Voice While Using Freelancers

While companies today often understand the value of creating content as part of an inbound marketing strategy, it can be difficult to allocate the proper resources to the cause. Agencies and freelancers can be great options for companies that require outside help with developing content. But, how can you make sure that your brand’s voice is maintained?

Amanda Maksymiw shares six steps for selecting the right freelancer for your outsourced content:

  1. Create a job description that outlines the qualifications you require of a freelancer.
  2. Use job boards, freelancer sites or other industry outlets to post the opportunity and collect applicants.
  3. Review resumes and applications, and interview the top five to 10 candidates. Assign an unpaid assignment to gauge their ability to meet your expectations.
  4. Compile a list of assignment requirements, style guidelines and expectations that can be given to your freelancer.
  5. Train the freelancer so that he or she understands your company and brand messaging.
  6. Review your freelancer’s work regularly, and communicate errors immediately.

For specific recommendations for each step, read the full post.

PR Trends

How B2B PR Will Succeed in 2011

As a follow-up to Elizabeth Sosnow's recent post How B2b PR Will Fail in 2011, Wendy Marx offers additional insight for evolving traditional B2B PR activities to focus on content marketing. Wendy explains that through original and curated content, B2B companies can be successful in their PR endeavors. 

With the explosion of digital publishing in recent years, companies are now able to become their own publishers, thus bypassing traditional gatekeepers who previously had the majority of control in reaching their target audiences. 

Says Wendy: "Today articles, newsletters, ebooks, blogs, e-magazines, videos and podcasts, are all types of content that can fall under the PR umbrella. The digitalization of information has made content inexpensive both to create and distribute." 

Most importantly, moving toward a self-publishing approach can also help fuel your company's traditional PR/media-relations efforts. By producing good quality information that demonstrates thought leadership and expertise, your company can create content assets to share with journalists and bloggers.

What were your favorite articles of the week? Comments are open for your opinions.

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