Sean Sloan of http://open-interactive.com talks about Online Marketing, SEO and LinkedIn and what it can mean for your business.
Check out my website, open-interactive.com, for samples of my work or give me a call at 949.722.6119.
Sean Sloan: My speech today is going to deal with topics that were presented or people asked me to talk about. And so the first one is. . . the topic was LinkedIn. And you know, none of these things are magic. None of these things are magic. But what has happened at LinkedIn is, you know, because it was the most business focused of all the social media platforms, they have exclusively businesses there or 99% businesses are there. So if you do business to business type of sales or if you are looking for people to be power partners with, then LinkedIn can make a lot of sense.
And LinkedIn has recently taken all this demographic information that they have about all these different businesses and they’ve put a set of tools together that allow for advanced search and contacting of people that are on LinkedIn. So the way it works is you can get a free month, you can get a free month by signing up. If you go there, it says something in the upper right hand corner like go professional or something like that – I forget the exact wording. And you just sign up, you put your credit card in, you get the free month and at the end you can cancel if you don’t want to continue and pay for it actually.
But they have four different pathways that you can take under there and one of them is I’m looking for a job, and the one that I think is interesting to all of you guys is what’s called the sales navigator. And so the sales navigator is the tool that I described that allows you to do things that are not available to the average user with the free account. So you’re allowed to contact people directly that you aren’t first level connections with. So this magnifies, not exponentially but geometrically, the number of people that you can contact in your circle of acquaintances. It opens up their circles of acquaintance. And só, you can contact people that are second or third level contacts and ask them to become connected, or you could ask them about business.
So like I was saying, this is particularly interesting for people that have business to business type of operations, but the concept of power partners is something that could be definitely explored here. I know that people have sources of revenue that are unusual, that are not the direct consumer like Termite Terry, project property managers are people that he would be. . . you know, could use this for. It’s up to the imagination to find a way to use this. The tools are there, the information is there.
Then there was also a question about mobile friendly websites. So what’s coming down the pike is that you won’t be penalized for not having a mobile friendly website, but people that have taken the time to prepare a mobile friendly website will be rewarded. So I believe it’s April 21st, Google has set as a deadline to try to move people in this direction because 2014 is the year, you know supposedly, in which websites will be accessed by mobile devices more than 50% of the time. So it’s been growing, growing, growing, growing growing, this is the year that supposed to cross over where majority of traffic to websites is supposed to come from mobile devices. So you can see that having a mobile friendly website makes a big deal.
So like I said, if you’ve been looking at the Google search results, you probably have noticed a little grayed out bit of text to the left of it that says mobile friendly. And that’s an easy way that you can test your site. Another way is through Google webmaster tools if you have your website set up for it, there’s actually an email that’s been going out saying, you know, your website is not mobile responsive, these are the things that you could do. And there’s also a tool that you can run your website through that looks at it and says okay, you’re good or you need work in these areas. And it basically outlines how that’s done. It’s a little bit technical, but it would be a good start and the reward is that you will get a ranking boost. Like I said, I think that’s important to everyone to get a ranking boost.
Then the other question I had was about Yelp!. So Yelp! is the elephant in the room when it comes to online reviews. They can’t be ignored, but they shouldn’t be paid probably. There’s lots of personal horror stories that people have of strange things happening to their reviews and their positioning within Yelp! as a result of talking to a salesperson at Yelp!. If you want stories about that, you can talk to Termite Terry. He has some very very interesting stories about that I think. Val Shepprance has also had some negative experiences. Looks like Gene Genus has had two experiences. Oh two minutes, two minutes, sorry. You and Yelp! are fine.
Man: Sean got wrapped up in the moment.
Sean: So what we should do is use the power of the network effect and in this group, everybody should get a Yelp! account and we should be reviewing others. Like I am going to be reviewing Mark Holmes who has done work for me. I can speak knowledgeably about the work he’s done for me and the wisdom that he’s imparted to me in that context. So I’m going to be doing a Yelp! review for him shortly. The other. . . the thing with Yelp! is if we all get in there and start reviewing each other’s business, what happens is our reviews will come out of the sequestration because if we all review each other’s businesses that will mean that we have like 30 reviews under our belt. All of a sudden we become valuable people in Yelp!’s eyes. That’s their measure. If you’ve only reviewed one business it’s unlikely that that review will show in the person’s reviews. They get put in the sandbox and people don’t see them, they don’t know to click on the little link down there that says link to other reviews.
The other thing with Yelp! that’s very important is that Apple maps, they went away from using a Google data feed and they used Yelp! information to populate their maps. So if you want to show up on Apple maps when a person with an Apple smart phone or an Apple mobile device searches for you, you want to have as many Yelp! reviews as possible because that’s the mechanism that Apple maps is using. And that’s, you know, just a change that happened in the last couple of years.
Then there was a question about Facebook likes. Okay, Facebook likes have in fact changed recently but it’s in a way that won’t affect most small businesses. What has happened is that Facebook likes that come from profiles that are no longer active or where the person has passed away, those likes will come off of your total like count. So it only affects, like, really big businesses that have large demographics in which there’s a great possibility for a person to have passed away or for their account to go inactive. So it’s not really going to affect us. We should all be going out and liking everybody’s business page, everyone should have a business page and if you need help with any of this stuff, you know that I’m available to help and we’ll sail the social seas together. Do you have a question?
Female: I have a question. I have a testimonial for you because as I was sitting here I went on Google and typed in Huntington Beach Auto Repair. Underneath the app, apps come first on my mobile app, I’m number one. And you know what, Sean’s been my SEO since I started, and he continues to help develop me and grow. And. . .
Sean: But tell him how many times have you gotten spanked by Google?
Female: The first time I got spanked he had to pull me off the floor, now I’m like the third time, here we go again.
Sean: Right. They change stuff and she gets hit hard, I mean like pushed down.
Female: They took me off the page. And I crawl my way back up.