No, We Can’t Get You Those Results Overnight

Long-Term Strategies to Improve Your Search Engine Ranking Through Off-Page Optimization With millions of Web pages flooding the Internet, search engines must sift through the clutter and develop a ranking system that allows the strongest sites to be given optimal exposure by placing them at the top of search engine results. Since the majority of … Continue reading “No, We Can’t Get You Those Results Overnight”

Long-Term Strategies to Improve Your Search Engine Ranking Through Off-Page Optimization

With millions of Web pages flooding the Internet, search engines must sift through the clutter and develop a ranking system that allows the strongest sites to be given optimal exposure by placing them at the top of search engine results. Since the majority of website traffic comes from these major search engines, it is imperative that your site has a high ranking. Off-page SEO includes anything you can do to secure a high page rank for your website in order to reach the ultimate goal of high Web visibility for your organization. In contrast to on-page optimization, the phrase “off-page” refers to the ways to promote your website and enhance your search engine optimization outside of the pages within your own site.

The most important factors of off-page SEO are linking, link value, bookmarking, social media, blogging, press releases, articles and Web directories. These factors will help build quality links back to your website to help improve your site’s rank with search engines.

Linking — The most important off-page optimization factor is gaining inbound links that direct others to your website. The first step in securing inbound links is to produce fresh, interesting and flawless content. Search engines love unique and frequently updated content. Once your site is completed with strong content, a clear navigation scheme and carefully chosen keywords begin to request links from other sources. For example, reach out to bloggers and demonstrate that you read their site and understand their audience. Send them a link to the content you created that you think will be valuable to them. This is important because you are offering them something of value while increasing your own Web presence.

Keep in mind that there is such a thing as overdoing it with backlinking. If you build more than 50 backlinks in one day, search engines may treat you as a spammer, diminishing your site’s ranking. A good goal is to keep within the range of 10-15 backlinks per day. By integrating linking techniques into your Public Relations and Social Media strategy, you shouldn’t have a problem with this. For example, each time you contribute a press release, post the release to the free posting sites cited below. Likewise, each time you publish an article, post it to the article directories also discussed below.

Link Value — When building backlinks on the Web, it is important to understand link value. There are several factors that determine the value of your link:

• The first step is to determine whether the link is a no-follow or do-follow and always strive for the latter. For example, never leave links in the comment sections of blogs. These links will automatically be marked as no-follow, providing no SEO benefit.

• To get SEO authority, get as many backlinks as possible from as many high-authority sites as possible. The higher the authority of the page that your link is on, the more of this authority will transfer to your site. For instance, Google gives high authority to newspaper websites. Having an article published in these online papers with your link is worth a lot more than many other websites.

• A second factor is the number of other links on the page that is linking to you. The more links that are on that page, the less SEO benefit each is given.

• The anchor text of the link is also crucial to its strength. Be sure to use relevant keywords in the anchor text so you will rank higher for those keywords.

You can check your website link’s popularity at The higher your link popularity is, the higher your page ranking will be.

Bookmarking — Bookmarking is an effective means of driving traffic to your business’ website. On bookmarking sites such as Digg and StumbleUpon, users can bookmark important Web pages that they visit regularly and would like to organize as favorites. Bookmarking sites are the hubs for one-click marks of approval. It is important to first check if your URL has already been listed on these sites and then, if it hasn’t, submit your link along with a website description, articles and tags. Each bookmarking site offers different features. For example, Delicious lets people bookmark a URL while others let users vote. Once your site is listed, encourage social media users who are on the myriad of social bookmarking sites to bookmark your website and post and vote for your articles. It is important to submit strong quality content to these social bookmarking sites that will attract reader interest and votes.

Popular bookmarking sites:

Social Media — Aside from being a crucial marketing tool for your business, social media also provides great off-page SEO benefits. Social networking sites can improve natural search visibility for your organization. Sharing, commenting and linking are at the core of social media. This shared content can get your website exposure, traffic and possibly a high number of inbound links. Since you can reach a vast amount of people using social media, there is a greater likelihood of gaining more links, which is one element that major search engines look at when ranking sites. Anything that raises awareness of a business or a particular website is good for SEO. Keep in mind that social media sites are also “do not follow,” meaning you won’t get SEO benefits from just posting links to your site on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

Each of your social media profiles should link back to your business’ main website in a variety of ways. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the main social networking outlets that your organization should have a presence on, but there are many sites to choose from. Facebook status updates, your profile descriptions and tweets especially should include links to drive traffic to your website.

Popular social media sites:
Avvo (attorneys)
JDSupra (attorneys)

Blogging — The major advantages of having a blog are that you will establish your company as a thought leader in your industry, change your site from an online brochure to a living, breathing hub and give your visitors a way to engage with you. Blogs also provide off-page SEO benefit by driving readers back to your website in order to learn more about your business. It is necessary for blogs to produce fresh, unique content so make sure to update your page at least once a week. Include keywords in the titles of your entries and diversify your posts by adding video and photos. Within the actual text, turn keyword phrases into hyperlinks to point to your website. Once you’ve started your blog, promote your entries by posting your link on social media outlets, bookmarking sites and discussion forums such as Yahoo! Forums and LinkedIn Answers. Also, interact with other bloggers to gain exposure. In order to build a name for yourself in the vast blogosphere, it is important to interact with bloggers who write about your field. Add to the discussion in the comment sections of another blogger’s work. Likewise, make sure that your readers can leave comments on your own blog and subscribe via RSS and email. Maintaining an effective blog is key to maximizing your off-page optimization strategy.

At The Public Relations and Marketing Group, we use WordPress to host our blog and would highly recommend using this site. However, there are other popular blogging sites out there such as Blogger, Blogspot and Tumblr. We generally recommend that businesses incorporate their blog into their website versus a separate site. This way, your blogging and link-building will benefit your website and you won’t have to work on SEO for two separate sites. However, doing this does involve a bit more programming when setting up your site.

Press Releases — Publishing professional news and press releases in various online outlets is crucial to your off-page optimization success. Posting press releases, media advisories, media availabilities and events is a great way to generate interest in your organization and drive traffic back to your website. Each time your release is posted on another website, the inbound link from that page to your website helps increase your SEO rank. It is important to write releases that are complete with keyword-rich language used by your audience and to include links that point to a specific offer or landing page on your site.

Consider using a service such as NewsEdge, Dow Jones Factiva, LexisNexis and Marketwire to deliver raw press releases.

Free press release sites: (regional)

Articles — Publishing articles is a great way to demonstrate your area of expertise and portray yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Strong articles can also lead readers back to your business’ website. At the end of your article, place a link back to your website. Add links back to your site for related articles as well. If the article is thought-provoking and interesting to your audience, readers may feel compelled to share it with others, learn more about your business and click on your backlinks.

Thousands of online article directories will publish your articles for free and enhance your Web visibility by offering backlinks to your website.

Free article directories:

Web Directories — Free Web directories are great for listing your website and quickly building your link popularity. These sites can help to boost your website’s rankings on popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo! by categorizing link submissions. Web directories list websites by category and subcategory so that readers can easily find what they’re searching for. There are several paid and unpaid Web directories and it is best to take advantage of the free directories first.

Free Web directories that offer a one-way text link:

Track Your Progress — Once you’ve implemented these off-page SEO techniques, it is important to monitor your progress over time. Monitor your keyword ranking with a program such as Web CEO. Website Grader is also an excellent program to monitor the strength of your site and best of all, it’s free. Using Website Grader, you can build a custom report for your website to determine its strengths and weaknesses. It is important to regularly monitor your grade and make changes as needed.

Getting Started with Reputation Management

Negative publicity on the Internet can cost your business in both revenue and customers. While blogs and social media have transformed the way businesses communicate with the public, it’s also easier than ever for people to post negative, false or scandalous claims about businesses in a public media outlet. By simply posting damaging comments on … Continue reading “Getting Started with Reputation Management”

Negative publicity on the Internet can cost your business in both revenue and customers. While blogs and social media have transformed the way businesses communicate with the public, it’s also easier than ever for people to post negative, false or scandalous claims about businesses in a public media outlet. By simply posting damaging comments on review sites, blogs and social media sites, people can tarnish your business’ public image and reputation. Implementing an online reputation management strategy is crucial for any organization’s success in today’s business world. Managing your online reputation requires a multi-faceted and integrated approach including monitoring your online reputation, engaging your audience, and by publishing content to help develop your organization’s Web presence. Lastly, in certain necessary circumstances, take legal action.


It is essential for businesses to monitor what is being said about them online. In order to succeed in enhancing your company’s online reputation, you must be a good listener. Listen to and address your friends, followers and fans’ comments and concerns. Interaction, communication and awareness are keys to creating a positive image for your business. Your company must implement a listening platform so that you may quickly spot and address any complaints or damaging comments.

Helpful Tools

One helpful tool is Google Alerts. Set up Google Alerts for your business to keep track of keywords, such as your business name or products, and receive updates whenever they are mentioned online. This service will allow you to monitor everything that is being said about these keywords online. Another useful tool is the Twitter search engine. Search and use hashtags (#), followed by the name of your organization, products or services. Twitter will then compile everything that has been said about this subject for you to browse through. The advanced Twitter search engine will provide you with auto updates of key terms. There are also a variety of social media monitoring programs. Another program, Icerocket, allows you to monitor Twitter, blogs, the Web, news, images and more, while offering the ability to bookmark your search results for later reference. Other social media alert tools include Addict-o-matic, Boardtracker, Twazzup, socialmention, Tweetdeck and Radian6. All of these tools report alerts when your keywords are found on social media sites and other online platforms.

Once the negative content is found, some defaming pages can be removed by contacting Web administrators. However, the goal is to prevent negative content from ever appearing, and when it does, to push it to the later pages of search engine results by deploying an integrated and proactive strategy. It is also essential to implement some form of damage control and prevention before the issue gets out of hand. Having good customer relations and engaging your audience is essential in this area.


Always encourage customer communication and feedback. Reach out to your audience and respond to any criticism in a professional and compassionate manner. Your audience will appreciate superior customer service and the effort you made to address their concern. Don’t limit yourself to responding only to negative feedback. The goal is to reposition your business on the Web as a more customer-oriented organization.

Negative Feedback — Index all negative reviews in one document. Try to match reviewers with past clients and send them all personalized emails or notes at home, addressing each individual concern and specific case. Apologize, if necessary, and offer them a great deal to get them to give your business another shot. If the matter has been resolved, invite reviewers to withdraw their negative review if their next experience has proven to be better than the last. If they cannot withdraw the comment, then invite them to post again. With the high presence of anonymity online, it isn’t always possible to track down the culprits behind damaging material. For reviewers who cannot be identified, respond with an “owner’s reply” online, addressing their concern and promising to do better next time.

Positive Feedback — Responding to praise and gratitude is just as important as addressing negative publicity. Always thank customers for positive comments and reviews. Facilitate positive postings in forms, emails and comment sections by thanking your audience for their time and encouraging feedback so that you may improve their experience.

Improve Customer Relations — Promote your business as a client-friendly organization, with their best interests in mind. Cater your content to what would be most valuable for your target audience. Write educational articles and post helpful videos. Another tip is to create and maintain a blog with a weekly question from a customer, responding in helpful and compassionate terms. This will demonstrate that your business is open to conversation.


Develop Your Web Presence — Carefully consider all content before you publish it online. When you post on a social media site, or anywhere else online, you are speaking on your business’ behalf. Despite its casual feel, take social networking seriously. All content should be positive, accurate and put you and your organization in a good light. It is important to generate more positive publicity for your business so that the major search engines focus on this to create and maintain a positive online image. By creating lots of favorable online content, published on several online platforms, you will not only nourish your favorable reputation online, but also improve your search engine presence. You want your social media pages, blog, website and any positive media coverage to appear on the first two pages of Google when someone searches for your business. This will help to push negative publicity, if it cannot be removed, to the back and out of sight. Another tip is to create microsites to publish positive content and increase your organization’s Web presence. Microsites tend to rank high when people search for your company, allowing you to have greater visibility in search engine results.

Optimize Content — Using the right keywords is essential to having your site found on Google and the other major search engines. The typical Google search consists of three words so you must choose your keywords wisely. They must be relevant, important, generate sufficient search volume and reach your target audience. Further, always maintain and update your website(s), blog and social media accounts with fresh content to ensure that they rank high in search engines when someone searches for your business. However, in your goal of optimizing positive content and pushing negative content out of sight, you cannot manipulate the search engine’s system. Violating Google’s guidelines may result in a negative adjustment of your website’s presence on Google, or even the removal of your site from Google’s index. There is no issue in using positive content to overcome negative content, but it must be done within Google’s guidelines. This area can become tricky and a professional reputation management service will guide your organization through the process.

Social Media — Social media is all about enabling conversations. While you cannot control conversations, you can influence them. Create and maintain accounts on popular social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Actively engage your audience through social media. For example, publish a tweet asking customers if they need help or assistance with anything and when they respond, address their problems accordingly. Upload a valuable how-to video to YouTube to demonstrate to your audience that you have their best interests in mind.

Earned Media — Continue to gain earned media through the development of positive news media stories about your organizations. Send press releases, articles and photos to media sources and participate in community events that may garner positive media coverage for your organization. News outlets generally have a high degree of authority online and rank high with the major search engines.

Free Postings — As press releases and articles are generated for media distribution, your blog or newsletters, post the content on appropriate local and national websites that accept press release and article submissions. Thousands of article directories will publish your content for free, enhancing your online visibility. When you publish an article on one of these directories, that directory will give you a link back to your website, driving traffic there. Some free posting sites include:


In appropriate circumstances, businesses should consider legal options to help address damaging content online. For libelous and defaming comments made about your company online, you may want to take legal measures, including filing a lawsuit for defamation, tortuous interference with business relations and even criminal cyber-bullying or harassment.

Making the Right Connections with LinkedIn

Every business strives to increase profitability and remain relevant and competitive in their industry. In order to stay competitive in today’s business world, you must use some form of social media. Social media marketing and advertising techniques can help increase your revenues, communicate with customers and remain a competitive force in your field. With so … Continue reading “Making the Right Connections with LinkedIn”

Every business strives to increase profitability and remain relevant and competitive in their industry. In order to stay competitive in today’s business world, you must use some form of social media. Social media marketing and advertising techniques can help increase your revenues, communicate with customers and remain a competitive force in your field. With so many options out there, it is best to focus your attention and time on what is most beneficial to your business. For those interested in making professional connections, networking and reaching out to other businesses, LinkedIn is the site for you.

LinkedIn, the world’s largest business-oriented service, allows members to network and keep in touch with their business contacts. Businesses should think of LinkedIn as a giant networking event. This is especially beneficial for B2B industries. The site allows you to search its database for people at a company to whom you are somehow connected and send a virtual introduction through one or more immediate connections. LinkedIn helps build stronger personal relationships to facilitate more direct contact and business opportunities.

Always make sure that your LinkedIn business profile is as close to 100% complete as possible. Upload a professional photo, add to your network frequently and keep all business information and staff up to date on your business page. This makes it easier for other businesses, potential clients or partners to find your company.

Design your profile with your audience in mind. Don’t write lengthy descriptions of irrelevant jobs that you’ve worked for in the past; your LinkedIn page is not your résumé. (LinkedIn has a separate section for that.) Potential clients and business partners won’t benefit from seeing every minor detail of work experience from years ago. Focus on job titles, major achievements and the names of companies you’ve worked for. You may also add a video from YouTube to your business page.
Here are a few tips to make your LinkedIn page stand out and get your business noticed

Add video — To add a video, go to your company page and click on “Services” at the top. Select “Add a Product or Service,” then scroll down to the bottom of this page to step 10. Here, you may add your video, a title, keywords and the required fields. Another hint is to change your LinkedIn URL. When you create a business profile on LinkedIn, you’re given a random URL. To enhance search engine optimization and boost Google rankings, you can change the URL to something simpler, like your business’ name. You may customize your URL here:

Make connections — The more connections you have, the greater your opportunities become. One tip is to use the LinkedIn toolbar for Outlook to easily invite all of your Outlook contacts to connect with you. You may also export your LinkedIn contacts to Outlook or your Gmail address book by saving the details of your connections as a CSV file. You can then import this file into any other email program.

Advertise — There is also the potential for advertising on LinkedIn. You can target your audience based on company size, industry, gender and geography. (See our Advertising Spotlight for details.)

Use recommendations — Always give recommendations and testimonials to your contacts and request for them in return. These greatly enhance your profile by giving potential clients and business contacts a clear indication of the quality of your company’s work.

Communication and interaction are essential to your LinkedIn success. Update your status whenever there’s an update in your company. Likewise, keep an eye out for others’ statuses for something to start a conversation with or build a connection. Build and join groups and enhance the conversation with your expertise. You may communicate easily with group members by sending emails. This will portray your business to others as an expert and leader in the field. Send emails to group members, post conversations from the group to Twitter and Facebook, interact in the discussion area and pose and respond to questions. Use of the Answers feature spreads your name and profile around to people who otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to it. By answering others’ questions, you show authority in your field and others may then look to you for advice. Answer only questions you can answer well. If you wrote an article, add it to one of the web resources boxes.

LinkedIn Today — A new feature the social media site has launched is “LinkedIn Today,” a program that surfaces the top headlines and stories being shared the most by members. Articles are grouped into different industries and the trending articles for each industry will appear at the top. This feature gives users an organized way to consume the top trending news in a particular industry. Having your company’s article appear on LinkedIn Today is a great way to gain exposure and share your professional insight. Make sure to post exceptional, thought-provoking content in your articles to maximize the chance of showing up at the top of this section.

LinkedIn Application for iPhones and Android Phones — Another LinkedIn breakthrough is that now users have the option of downloading the LinkedIn application for iPhones and Android-powered phones. You don’t have to be sitting in front of a computer screen to use LinkedIn. Professionals can now easily access and share industry news and articles and post headlines more directly from their cellular phone.

Stay active — Maintaining your LinkedIn page and checking for updates may be time-consuming, but it is necessary for success. Instead of logging in every time you want to check your profile, install the Google Chrome LinkedIn toolbar. This toolbar makes it simple to respond to contact invitations, comment on your contacts’ updates and more.

Visit The Public Relations and Marketing Group’s website for examples of social media performed on behalf of its clients.

Secrets to Twitter Marketing

Twitter has quickly become the most powerful microblogging tool on the Web and has gained a reputation for breaking news and providing information to millions of users worldwide. Businesses have discovered the immense exposure and resources that Twitter has to offer. Companies utilize Twitter to promote their brand, interact with their targeted audience, track what … Continue reading “Secrets to Twitter Marketing”

Twitter has quickly become the most powerful microblogging tool on the Web and has gained a reputation for breaking news and providing information to millions of users worldwide. Businesses have discovered the immense exposure and resources that Twitter has to offer. Companies utilize Twitter to promote their brand, interact with their targeted audience, track what people are saying about them, promote their organization’s content and create buzz around upcoming events. Business-to-customer and business-to-business interaction are crucial to any organization’s success and Twitter makes both quick and easy. Here are some things you need to know about Twitter:

What is Twitter? — Short posts called “tweets” serve as effective vehicles of communicating what is happening in your organization to others. These updates of 140 characters or less make Twitter compatible with mobile phones and text messaging. While you only have only 140 characters to communicate your message, you can include a link to full articles, websites and more. One important thing to keep in mind about Twitter is that people don’t care about what you’re doing, but rather what you’re thinking, reading or how you can help them. Through your tweets, notify followers of company and industry news, interesting articles or other business highlights.

Twitter Terms — Like many social media sites, Twitter has its own language. Before you create an account, it is best to be familiar with this vocabulary. To “follow” someone is to subscribe to their updates. Likewise, a “follower” is a person who receives your updates. Your “Twitter Handle” is your username. On Twitter, usernames should be as close to your real name, or business name, as possible. Otherwise, your audience will have difficulty finding you. The hashtag (#) is a tool to compile all conversations surrounding an event or theme in one place. You may also use hashtags to indicate a category or something that other people may be tweeting about. For example, after your main content, add #attorney or #italianrestaurant. To send a public message to an individual person, begin your tweet with @USERNAME. For example, your customer’s username is “ChefJoe.” To publicly address him on Twitter, you would tweet, “@ChefJoe Thank you for stopping in our restaurant today! We look forward to seeing you again.” This message will be then sent to all of your followers, as well as ChefJoe, even if he is not a follower. If you want to send a private message to a Twitter user, use the private message option. You can private message any Twitter follower. You may also choose to quickly share what other users are tweeting. If you spot another user’s tweet that you would like to share with your followers, you may choose to “re-tweet” it. Re-tweet, or RT, is to repeat what someone else has already tweeted, allowing your own network to see their post as well.

Get started — Before jumping right in, make sure that you have a feel for how Twitter works. Browse through your competitors’ Twitter profiles and learn how to improve upon their approaches. Once you understand how to use Twitter and are familiar with what each term means, develop a strategy. Determine what you will be using the outlet for and what you would like to communicate to your audience. Once you have a plan in mind, create a primary account based on your name and then another for your business. You may choose to use your personal account to act as a liaison to the public for your company, share your personality and develop more personal relationships with your company’s network. Make sure to fill in all relevant information for your accounts – company website, blog, LinkedIn profile, etc. After you complete your profiles, seek out users that are relevant and share common interests. A tip is to start with your personal contacts and then build followers by promoting your new page. Once you follow someone, their tweets will show up on your newsfeed. Ideally, you want to be followed more than you follow others. While you are building a strong follower base, it is essential to begin tweeting.

Interact — Twitter offers more than a mere one-sided conversation. Although Twitter can be used as an effective public relations channel to share links, press releases and direct followers back to your company’s website, do not make this its sole purpose. Avoid having too many self-promotional tweets. Instead, interact with your audience. Interaction and communication shows your customers that you are interested in what they have to say. Businesses can re-tweet other users’ posts or links that they might find interesting and would like to share with their audience. Address any negative comments, give valuable feedback and help customers solve their problems by tweeting at someone or sending a direct message. Post questions to your audience such as “How can we improve this product?” or “What else would you like to see from our company?” Listen to customer feedback and adapt to their needs.

Link your Twitter and Facebook Fan Page — Linking your fan page and Twitter profile will save you time and effort by sharing status updates, photos or events on both social media outlets simultaneously. To have your fan page updates automatically linked to Twitter, download the Twitter application on Facebook, found here. Every time you publish on your Facebook fan page, the updates will be immediately tweeted. You may also update your Facebook status from Twitter using Selective Tweets, found here. Through Selective Tweets, you can choose which tweets you would like to share on Facebook by simply ending a tweet with #fb whenever you would like to post it as your status. This is a good way to integrate your social media sites and build your Web presence.

Download TweetDeck — Download TweetDeck. You can use this tool to manage your Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Google Buzz, Foursquare and LinkedIn accounts, all in one convenient place. One benefit of TweetDeck is that it allows you to converse more easily on Twitter. TweetDeck shows you everything you want to see at once, in organized columns — @replies, direct messages, friends, favorites and even customized columns.

Use Twitter Favorites — The Twitter Favorites feature is an excellent marketing tool for businesses. To the left of each tweet in your news stream, there is a star icon. By clicking this star, the tweet will be added to your Favorites tab. As a business, you should favorite all positive tweets or praise your organization has received. These testimonials are a valuable resource in improving your business’ public image. You may send your customers the link to your Favorites page ( to display the positive feedback you have received.

Use Twitter Search Engines — Consistently monitor your business through the Twitter search engines, as well as through other monitoring software. This allows you to see what people are saying about you, your organization, products, services and competitors. Once you have spotted relevant tweets, address any praise or complaints by either tweeting at the user or sending them a direct message. Twitter Advanced Search is also a helpful monitoring tool. Once you set up your search, you can save the query as an RSS feed for you to easily monitor updates. You may want to keep track of a trending news story, monitor conversations surrounding your keywords or follow mentions of your business. TweetDeck is also a helpful tool to help you quickly search for what you want and filter out what you don’t.

Watch What You Tweet — Never tweet anything that you wouldn’t want the whole world to see. Despite its casual feel, social networking should be taken seriously. Employees have lost their jobs for posting inappropriate content or photos on social media websites. Once you post something online, it is fair game for the public and damaging content can tarnish your company’s reputation. Remember, when you post on a social media site, you are speaking on your business’ behalf. All content should be positive, accurate and put both you and your organization in a good light.

Measure your progress — Measure your success using free Twitter monitoring websites. For example, TwitterGrader grades your profile based upon your number of followers, power of followers, updates, follower/following ratio and more. Similar sites include TwitterScore, TweetEffect, TwitChamp and Twitterholic. Grade your own profile on these sites and compare your score with that of your competitors’. These programs will provide you with valuable information about where you rank in comparison, where you are successful and what areas need improvement.

Promote Your Twitter Profile — Make it easy for your audience to find your business. The Twitter icon and link should be present on your business’ website, blog, email signature, business cards and in any correspondence with your clients.

Stay active — Constant activity is essential to Twitter. Tweet as much as possible – at least every day. If you don’t devote time to maintaining your business’ Twitter account, there is no point in creating one at all. As with all social media outlets, a fresh stream of strong content is vital to their success. You can update your Twitter feed from any Web browser, mobile phone or instant messaging service. Ideally, businesses should be tweeting at least several times a day. It is also important to have a wide range of tweets, re-tweets and direct conversations with other users.

Visit The Public Relations and Marketing Group’s website for examples of social media performed on behalf of its clients.

10 Steps to Getting the Most Out of Facebook

Facebook is the most popular and widely used social media outlet. Facebook users create profiles, interact with others, become fans of business pages and join in common interest groups. With more than 400 million members, Facebook is an excellent marketing and advertising tool, especially for B2C companies. Every business and non-profit with a customer base … Continue reading “10 Steps to Getting the Most Out of Facebook”

Facebook is the most popular and widely used social media outlet. Facebook users create profiles, interact with others, become fans of business pages and join in common interest groups. With more than 400 million members, Facebook is an excellent marketing and advertising tool, especially for B2C companies. Every business and non-profit with a customer base needs to have a presence on Facebook. Facebook offers exposure, advertising opportunities and an outlet for customer relations. It is essential for businesses to create an active and compelling presence on Facebook to enhance any social media marketing strategy.

Create a Profile — Before you can create a fan page or group, you must have a personalized Facebook profile. When creating your personal account, you may choose to use it strictly for personal use or also for your business networking. Either way, your Facebook profile should be professional. Update your privacy settings to control who can see what information and never post anything that you wouldn’t want everyone to see. Despite its casual feel, posting on social networking sites should be taken very seriously. Remember, what you post on Facebook will reflect your business and professional image.

Create a Fan Page — Once you have a personal profile, with your name and personal information, you may create a business fan page. Facebook fan pages are specifically for promoting your business. Businesses will benefit greatly from creating and maintaining a fan page, where they will be able to communicate with their target audience and enormously increase their Web visibility. When Facebook users “like” your business page, their friends will see an update on their homepage. This exposure may influence a greater audience to learn more about your organization. To gain more fans, consider offering an incentive for those who like your page. Giving exclusive deals to your Facebook fans will encourage them to follow your company and recommend you to others. It is now very easy for businesses to offer coupons to your Facebook fans with the application, Easypromos. The promotion will be introduced on your fan page. For example, “Receive a 10% coupon for becoming a fan of our business!” When the user clicks to become a fan, they will be granted access to the coupon. Keeping track of how many Facebook discount codes have been redeemed is a useful tool for monitoring how beneficial your Facebook marketing efforts are. Fan pages also give you the option to send mass emails to all of your fans to promote products, services, events and ongoing promotions.

Facebook Ad

Create a Group Page — Creating a Facebook group page for your organization is also a useful feature. While they are not necessary to your Facebook marketing success, groups are another way for businesses to create an online community to keep their audience connected. Compared to fan pages, groups are typically for more in-depth communication around a certain subject. Engage in discussions about your products, industry and organization. Facebook groups don’t require nearly as much time as fan pages. While it is good to create a group, don’t invest all of your effort in this area.

Add Multimedia — Facebook is a great place to share multimedia. Everyone takes in information differently and many people are visual learners. Post photos that resonate with your business such as your location, building, events, staff, products and more. Videos are also important to show your audience what kind of company you are and how you can benefit them. Share videos of successful customer stories, interviews with experts in your industry, educational or how-to videos and features on business accomplishments.

Expand Your Network — For proactive social media networking purposes, it is crucial to grow your fan base and make personal connections with your audience. Seek out personal contacts, customers, potential customers, influential people in your industry and so forth. To find new people to add, use the “Friend Finder,” invite friends by email and join in similar groups and fan pages. When sending requests, always add a personal message to let the user know who you are and why you would like to be their Facebook friend.

Interact — Communication and interaction are keys to your business’ Facebook success. Always encourage feedback on your posts. Address every comment, concern and message you receive in a timely and thoughtful manner. Promoting your company as a client-friendly organization will boost your online reputation and encourage others to speak favorably about your business to their connections. To keep your audience informed, update your status each time your company has an event, shares industry news, sends an e-newsletter, launches a product or has received press coverage. Produce fresh, well-written and relevant content for your fan page especially. All fan page content gets indexed by Google so it should be strong and relevant to your target audience.

Create Events — If your company is having an event or promotion, create a Facebook event and invite all of your friends and fans to attend. Include all contact and event information on the page. This is a great way to promote your event and spread exposure. For example, when someone RSVPs to your event, their friends will see an update on their news feed. If you have limited space, indicate that your event is not open to the public and limited to “invite only.”

Facebook Advertising — Facebook provides outstanding and effective ad placement. For a detailed account of how Facebook advertising works, see this week’s advertising spotlight. Using Facebook fan page ads can help you expand your fan base and ongoing marketing efforts.

Promote Your Facebook Page — Make it easy for your audience to find you. Facebook icons and links should be clear on your business’ website, blog, email signature, business cards and in any correspondence with customers and potential customers. It is also important to advertise any special discounts that your audience will receive for becoming a fan of your business’ fan page.

Stay Active — Most importantly, stay active in your Facebook marketing efforts. Your success requires regular updates with fresh content, photos and interaction. While you cannot control conversation on social media sites, you can enhance it. Participate in discussions, share strong content, respond to comments and concerns and you will be rewarded.

Visit The Public Relations and Marketing Group’s website for examples of social media ads performed on behalf of its clients.

Getting Started with Social Media

Social media is a crucial marketing tool to help you make connections, rapidly build your business’ online platform and get your message out. Just about every business should be using social media in some capacity. Social media sites allow you to interact with clients, customers, competitors, critics, employees, prospects and referral sources. Through the user-generated … Continue reading “Getting Started with Social Media”

Social media is a crucial marketing tool to help you make connections, rapidly build your business’ online platform and get your message out. Just about every business should be using social media in some capacity. Social media sites allow you to interact with clients, customers, competitors, critics, employees, prospects and referral sources. Through the user-generated content of social networking sites, businesses are able to learn what people are saying about them and to respond to criticism and praise. These sites also make it possible to spread your message to a larger audience than ever before in a quick, cost-effective manner. The keys are choosing the right social media platform(s) for your organization, while developing and committing to a content plan you will use to feed your network with information they will value.

Here are some tips to help your business get its message across:

Choose Which Sites to Use — With so many social media sites out there, it is important to choose the ones that best suit your business. It is much more effective to actively use a few of these sites than to just be present on all of them. Popular social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Flickr and MySpace. Research these sites and others to decide which ones are right for your business. As a general rule, if you’re in B2B (Business-to-Business), use LinkedIn. If you’re trying to reach the general public with your services, then consider using Facebook and Twitter.

Create a Memorable Logo/Username — Pick a username that is available on all or most of the major social media sites. Develop a logo to complement your business name, not overshadow it. Use the logo in your profiles and websites.

Know and Target Your Audience — First, determine who your target audience is. Using social media sites, post relevant content that your clients and prospective customers will find useful and interesting. Use your social media sites as a valuable tool for your audience rather than merely for your business’ self-promotion.

Advertise to Your Target Audience — Advertisements on Facebook, MySpace and YouTube micro-target based on demographics, age, interests and location. Facebook ad campaigns, in particular, are highly targetable and effective. Facebook captures postings to create analytical data of what members have as listed interests. This data can be used to target market certain keywords.

Build Business Contacts — LinkedIn, for example, is a business-oriented service that allows members to network and gather professional contacts. Users can find potential clients, search for jobs, land deals and get professional introductions. Creating a LinkedIn profile for your business is a great way to put your company on the map in your industry. You may also upload your existing contacts from Outlook or a CSV file to LinkedIn and Facebook.

Interact — Follow up quickly to every comment or direct message on your social media sites. Make friends and treat your connections respectfully. Be authentic and actively participate in the conversation. Remember, you are setting the tone for your business through every conversation and post online. Always encourage people to contact you.

Don’t Forget About Content — Content is far more important than technology or design. Write exceptional articles, recommendations and blog posts and load them with keywords so they are easily found. The text and quality of the content on your sites is what compels people to stay and return. It should be organized, well-written and complete with easy ways to link to information. Excellent content is easily and quickly spread on social media sites and search engines. Think about the type of ongoing content you can generate that relates to your organization and builds upon its credibility and expertise.

Track Your Social Media Success — Be aware of how effective your social media profiles and websites are. allows users to compare the estimated traffic to their site against that of their competitors. will run your business’ Twitter profile through and compare it to each competitor. This allows you to not only measure your own business’ online success, but to keep track of your competition.

Don’t Slack Off — Social media is a long road and a way of doing business, not a campaign. Your social media marketing success requires commitment and long-term support. Actively update your pages with news, conversation and multimedia, such as videos and photos, to stay at the top of search engine results.

This is the first in a series of articles to be followed by closer examinations of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Visit The Public Relations and Marketing Group’s website here for examples of social media performed on behalf of its clients.

On-Page Optimization and Keywords

Working with Domains • Pick a domain name that has potential keywords in it. • Choose to pre-pay your domain for a few years in advance. Genuine sites plan on staying around for a while. • If you’re using a shared server, you may want to do a blacklist check. If you have spammers on … Continue reading “On-Page Optimization and Keywords”

Working with Domains

• Pick a domain name that has potential keywords in it.
• Choose to pre-pay your domain for a few years in advance. Genuine sites plan on staying around for a while.
• If you’re using a shared server, you may want to do a blacklist check. If you have spammers on your server, you share the same IP address with them and so you may be considered a spammer.
• There are multiple ways to reach your home page; make sure your site is set up to redirect the other ways. For example,,,, all should redirect to the one you pick. Google considers these to be four separate pages, instead of one.
• Name your Web pages using keywords, for example,
• Never block your domain registration information using a privacy feature. Doing so may cause search engines to consider you a spammer for your anonymity.

Use Proper Programming

• Use the words “image” or “picture” in your photo alt descriptions and captions. A lot of searches are for a keyword plus one of those words.
• Make sure you have at least one text-based navigation link to make it easy for search engines to find the other pages of your site. Search engines have trouble following links using JavaScript-based images. These alternate text-based navigations are usually found at the bottom of a site.
• Stay away from developing websites with Frames because you cannot link to a specific page of the site. Use Flash and Ajax minimally. Search engines cannot read anything inside Flash and cannot see inside the Frames.
• If you MUST have a splash page with Flash or something of the sort, you also MUST place content and link text below it.
• If you aren’t too slick with CSS, putting your menu on the right-hand side will ensure spiders will crawl your main content first (after). Spiders read sites top to bottom, left to right. • Get rid of code bloat. JavaScript and CSS code should be moved to separate external files. • Make a dynamic XML sitemap to submit to search engines. • You should have a customized error page. If a potential customer finds a broken link, they can be supplied with links back to the site. • You should have a robots.txt file which is used to restrict search engines from reaching certain parts of your site. It also tells search engines where your dynamic XML sitemap is located.

Displaying Your Content

• Keep your content text-based as much as possible. Search engines cannot read text that is embedded in an image. If you use images, make sure you assign an alt tag and title tag to each image. An alt tag is seen when the image cannot be displayed. It is also used by the visually impaired.
• Keep your content changing and fresh. Outdated content will rank lower than more recent content.
• If your site’s content does not change often, then your site needs a blog. Once you have a blog, it’s important TO BLOG ON IT or you will receive little to no results. Crawlers crawl for content; if your site’s content doesn’t change, the crawler will come back less and less often. Three blogs entries a week is proficient.
• You should have a good content-to-code ratio. This means, even though you enjoy spinning images, with cool effects, and flashy junk, your content-to-code ratio is poor. A blank white page with optimal content will always do better than code-stuffed junk pages.
• If you are writing a substantial article, then you are most likely dealing with sub-topics. These sub-topics should be split in to separate pages with their own optimizations.
• Put high-quality outbound links related to your Web site. This doesn’t mean you should link to your competitor; it means you should link to a site that is within the realm of what your site is about and use the keywords considered by Google for that site. This shows users that you are in good faith and not a spammer. A higher ranking will give you more traffic than outbound links. People leave when they haven’t found what they’re looking for; chances are you’d have lost them anyway.

Using Keywords

• Pick relevant keywords that potential customers may search for. Try to stay away from very popular keywords. The more competition for a keyword, the harder it is to rank high with it. Try narrowing your keyword phrases by adding a location or town.
• Use keyword phrases in the content on your pages and in the headings. Repeat keywords throughout the content making some bold or italicized – this tells search engines that these words are more important. Make sure each page has a good amount of content – search engines love a lot of text.
• Don’t try to cram keywords and pull a fast one on a search engine spider. Programmers are constantly rewriting code to find people who try to abuse the spider, and they will find you eventually. So basically, BE LEGITIMATE – write content for a reader and NOT a spider.
• Use keyword phrases in the title of each Web page. Each page should have a unique title. Don’t list your company name in your title – most potential customers won’t be searching for you specifically. The words towards the beginning of the title should be the most important.
• Use the keyword and description meta tags in your site. Each page should have unique keywords and descriptions.
• It is always best to use keywords in anchor text (links). “SEO tips” is always a better anchor text than “Click here.” Crawlers also consider the surrounding text nearest to the anchor.
• Give each page a focus on a single keyword phrase. Don’t try to optimize the page for several keywords at once.
• Rather than repeating the same keyword over and over again, it is best to use the keyword’s synonyms. This keeps your content more interesting for readers, and Google won’t think you’re a keyword abuser.
• The best places for juicy keywords is the beginning and end of your page. Sometimes that’s not where it “looks” best to viewers; in such cases, it’s optimal to use CSS to place your keywords at the top of the source and not change the visual layout.

“Blackhat” Methods

Avoid using these methods to prevent blacklisting by Google and other search engines:
• Having duplicate websites.
• Auto-generated content.
• Repeating the keyword in your content too often.
• Redirecting the home page.
• Using small pixel text or hidden text on your pages. For example, white text on white background.
• Submitting your site to a “link farm.”
• Cloaking: this means displaying a different version of your web site, depending on the IP address of those accessing it.
• Registering many domains and interlinking them all.

Top 10 Tips for Marketing in a Recession

Just because we are in the middle of a recession, it doesn’t mean your business has to be in one. In fact, I have never been more optimistic than I am about 2009 and the prospects of growing my business and that of our clients. At PRMG, we continue to grow our business. Like many … Continue reading “Top 10 Tips for Marketing in a Recession”

Just because we are in the middle of a recession, it doesn’t mean your business has to be in one. In fact, I have never been more optimistic than I am about 2009 and the prospects of growing my business and that of our clients.

At PRMG, we continue to grow our business. Like many businesses, we’ve had a few losses and a few gains, but our clients realize that we provide them with value for our services and continue to provide them with the opportunity to grow in good times and in bad.

First, it is important to take an historical perspective which tells me that things are never as good or as bad as they seem. Yes, retail sales reports for November and December showed a 2% decline, but that means that sales were 98% of what they were the year before and higher than what they were in 2006. A number of retailers had their best years yet. Nationally, unemployment is up about 2% from its average during the past decade of about 5% (economists consider employment full at about a 4% unemployment rate to account for persons leaving jobs for non-economic reasons). In other words, 93% of Americans are employed and our unemployment rate remains 3 percentage points better than what many Western European countries see during good economic times. Locally (Suffolk/Nassau, New York), for November, unemployment stood at 5.2%. With lower costs, including the cost of advertising, labor and greater availability of qualified personnel, recessions are often the best time for businesses to expand. In recessions, new industries and opportunities are created. Effective marketing can help you tap into these new opportunities and expand your business, despite the poor economy.

Here are PRMG’s tips for marketing in a recession:

Focus on your Current Clients. Hold on to your current clients with an iron fist. Increase your client contact and continue to provide value. Put in any extra time you may have into nurturing your client base. Make sure that you are on the bottom of their list to cut back on. Now that you’ve put up a client firewall, you can take advantage of market conditions and expand your business.

Expand Business from Current Clients. Increase the amount of business that you are getting from your current clients. For retailers and restaurants, market to your client database. If you don’t have a client database, it’s never too late to start. Restaurants can use comment cards. Leave e-mail lists at the register. Ask customers to drop off business cards to participate in a raffle. Increase the number of e-newsletters you send them. Provide coupons and value to increase traffic, especially during slow times of the week. Get them in and sell them more. Send printed newsletters to your customers and clients.

Grow by Concentrating on Prospects. To expand your business, concentrate your direct mail and e-mail marketing to current and past prospects. Follow up with phone calls. These are the lowest hanging fruit and provide the best potential return on investment.

Solicit New Business using Low-Cost Methods. Use e-marketing. Develop databases to include e-mails. Send out regular customized e-mails to solicit new business. Track and place follow-up phone calls to prospects.

Gain Earned Media. Write press releases and contact television, radio, print and Internet media regarding your products and services. Submit press releases to web sites. If you can interest the media to write a story about your business, it won’t cost you anything. Especially if you advertise, many weekly newspapers will run editorial stories for you.

Build your Web Traffic. Use search engine optimization techniques to increase web traffic. Start a blog. Post content and links to your site on web sites. Increase one-way links to your site.

Pay for Results. Use pay-per-click and pay-per-phone calls to increase traffic to landing pages on your site. Once on your site, capture contact information by providing a call to action download. With these campaigns, you are ensured that you are only paying for increased traffic and phone calls, and can control your budget to minimize advertising costs.

Get out of the Office or Store. Professionals and service businesses should go door to door. Drop off marketing materials and samples. This is especially good for restaurants. Attend networking events and pay at the door. No need to increase your marketing costs by joining a multitude of groups and associations. Attend what you can and pay the extra amount for non-members.

Create Events to Increase Traffic. Professionals can develop lectures and market them to prospects and others using the techniques above. Restaurants and retailers can hold product demonstrations and again market to current clients and promote to the public using press releases and advertising.

Advertise, Advertise, Advertise! I left this one last, only because it involves the greatest outlay of funds, not because it is the least effective. The opposite is true. There is no better time than during a recession to advertise. Advertising space and inventories are up, leading to rate and production discounts. On television and radio, use broad rotations rather than fixed positions. With greater inventory, you’ll get the times/programs you want anyway, as well as more bonuses and auto-fill as inventory is unsold. Take advantage of gift certificate programs on radio to advertise for free and increase traffic, especially during slow periods. Use specialty publications to hit targets. (See our upcoming report on Advertising in a Recession for more information.)

Contact Us

For more information about our services or to find out how we can help you attain your marketing goals, click here to email us, or call:
Toll Free: 855-PRMG-123 .: Phone: 631-207-1057

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