Top 10 List: Social Media Blogs We Follow

Interested in keeping up on all things social media?

Check our top 10 list of social media blogs! This list is sure to keep you in the loop.

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite social media blogs below. While you may recognize many of the blogs on the list hopefully some of them are new to you. Check them out and start taking in some of the great tips and information.

  1. Social Media Examiner
    Social media examiner is the worlds largest online social media magazine. Covering topics like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more, social media examiner helps businesses to discover how to best use social media tools so they can connect with their customers, generate brand awareness and increase sales. 
  2. Mashable
    Mashable brings you the latest in social media news and web tips. Whether you are searching for a social media guide, information on a new app, infographics or survey results or just pure entertainment, Mashable has an endless flow of social media information.
  3. SocialMouths
    Kick Ass social media advice for the real entrepreneur. Need I say more? Check out one of the most recent posts, “Questioning All Advice, Rules and Best Practices For Social Media Success” Great tips!
  4. Social Strand
    Check out Social Tip Tuesday! We love the fun tips that come out every Tuesday. Follow this blog for all kinds of awesome information on social media.
  5. Brian Solis
    A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture. His current book, Engage, is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to build and measure success in the social web.
  6. Danny Brown
    Danny Brown has an award winning blog that focuses on social media and business strategies told to you through the art of storytelling. There is something here for everyone.
  7. Kikolani
    Krisit Hines shares her expertise on blogging, business, SEO, and social media. Get ready for some great tips and advice!
  8. Social Media Today
    Featuring some of the best of the best bloggers and social media minds out there you can find a wide array of topics in blog posts and news articles.
  9. Convince and Convert
    Jay Baer provides excellent content and is one of the few that also provides real life case studies for examples. You will also get great tips on tools, strategy, measurement and how to calculate ROI.
  10. Social Triggers
    Derek Halpern helps us to discover how human psychology can help trigger your audience to convert to customers and sales online!

And, in case these aren’t enough for you, check out Social Media Examiner’s 2012 top 10 list and Alltop for more suggestions!

Please share your favorites with us here in the comments section!

Image Credit: By sam_churchill

Top 10 List: SEO Blogs We Follow

Search engine optimization is ever changing. New Google algorithms come out all the time, sometimes putting a wrench into what you thought were your white hat SEO tactics.

What is white hat vs. black hat? What are the best practices that stand the test of time? If you are looking to stay up to date or simply learn about SEO the list below is a great place to start. Check out some of our favorite SEO related blogs.

  1. SEOmoz Blog
    One of our favorite spots to get entertaining and dead on information regarding SEO… With blog posts like, “SEO isn’t magic, so stop doing SEO Tricks” and “Recovering From an Over Optimization Penalty – A True Story.”
  2. Search Engine Land
    Search Engine Land is a must read hub for news and information about search engine marketing, optimization and how search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and other search engines work for searchers.
  3. Matt Cutts
    What’s better than getting info straight from the horses mouth? Matt Cutts is a Google associate gives insight into the company, search engine index updates and SEO issues.
  4. Search Engine Watch
    The authoritative guide to search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization, News, how-tos and marketing strategy guides to succeed on search engines.
  5. Small Business SEM
    This is all about SEO and Web marketing tips for small business’ in particular. What’s not to love?
  6. Design Damage
    Cracking the code when it comes to internet marketing strategies. This blog is gives excellent advice regarding topics such as “Search Engine Marketing: ROI vs Profit profit” and “how to increase website conversions.”
  7. The SEM Blog
    The SEM blog not only offers you tips on SEO in general but alson on search engine marketing and measurement. We also find that this blog in particular has some excellent posts relating to PPC campaigns.
  8. Higher Visibility
    With blog posts like “What is the Proper Key Word Density” and “5 Tips on how to Vary your Anchor Text” the higher visibility blog does a great job of answering popular FAQs.
  9. Search Engine Journal
    Keeping you in the loop, Search Engine Journal shares news, updates, case studies and more. Check out their recent post “How to Get your Site Indexed Before it’s Even Launched.”
  10. SE Roundtable
    A well-rounded view on search engines and search engine marketing from five segments of the web population.

Did we miss a blog you think should be in the top 10? What’s your favorite SEO blog?

Search Engine Optimization for Beginners

How often do you browse the second page of search results beyond the top 10 hits Google suggests? What about the third page? If you’re like most online users, the answer is “not much.“ Research shows that 85 percent of people look no further than the first page of Google search results. Ninety-nine percent look no further than the top 30 results. Seventy-eight percent of online traffic referrals go to the first 10 sites suggested. And, most importantly, 93 percent of all website traffic comes from search engine referrals. These trends highlight the importance of understanding — and then mastering — what’s known as “search engine optimization,” or SEO for short. By studying the most effective methods for achieving high rankings in search engine results, website owners can implement various SEO strategies that allow them to access more online traffic. Whether you’re a business owner looking to expand your market reach or a college student starting a blog, you should determine how you can best use SEO to your advantage. There are several critical points to dominating this realm of potential business.

Keyword Research

SEO is based off the keywords that people constantly search for. Therefore, using specific word choice when creating your site is key to high rankings. For example, when researching for this piece, I searched “do people search beyond the top ten Google results?” The top search results were sites that contained a considerable combination of these keywords in their titles, URLs and also throughout the text found on their pages. Thus, keyword research is essential to SEO. Google’s free AdWords: Keyword Tool is a web tool that allows users to enter keywords or phrases and analyze how popular they are in searches. It provides the global number of searches for certain words and closely related words. The level of competition for Google’s rankings is listed, too. The trick is to incorporate keywords that have substantial search volume with a moderate-to-low level of competition into your site. Be specific enough to attract your target audience, yet broad enough to attract the search engine’s attention. Other online bonding companies that my company competes against fully understand how this works, which is why there’s so much competition among the certain industry words and phrases. To overcome this problem, you should also look for words that are searched relatively often but don’t involve too much competition. Consider words users would type to find your pages, and then make sure that your site actually includes those words within it. Implement these words into your page titles, text and even the actual URL. Keep it clean, simple and direct. Investing time doing quality keyword research will help you improve your search engine rankings and therefore send more site visitors your way.

Link Building

The next step in conquering SEO is link building. This strategy involves linking content to your website. It connects people to your site while simultaneously spreading your work across the Web, pushing you further up in rankings. There are a few ways to build links.

  1. Provide internal links. It’s exactly what it sounds like; links within your site. When you make a blog post, a new page or update your site in other ways, be sure to embed links to other relevant pages within the text. This encourages visitors to explore other material you’ve produced.
  2. Write guest posts. By contacting site owners who produce similar information, you can expose your work to visitors of other websites. If your blog relates to the subject matter of another, you can offer to write applicable pieces specifically for them. This is called guest posting. By writing content for someone else’s site, you market the rest of your work to a whole new audience. Your name and a link will be attached to the guest post because interested readers might want to know what else you produce. These links boost your SEO capabilities because searches have greater access to your site when you have links spread across the net. Guest posting also provides more credibility for your site as it shows the host site finds your content to be worthwhile enough to share with their readers.
  3. Share content via social media. Facebook and Twitter are simple and free ways to market your site. Links featured in status updates and tweets have the ability to reach your friends and fans and then their friends and fans. Social media links inherently invite others to share your content. This is similar to guest posting in its “word of mouth” style. If your followers and Facebook friends take interest in your site, then others will follow suit.

Furthermore, placing “Like,” “Tweet” and “Share” buttons throughout your website makes it easier for visitors to introduce it to their friends, who likely hold similar interests. Again, the more popular your site becomes among users, the higher it will rank in search engine results. Link building puts good faith in your product and distributes your work across the Internet, which increases your site’s likelihood of being recognized as a pertinent source of information.

Accessibility

The last tip for increasing your SEO is to make every page of your website easily accessible. Visitors should be able to reach any page with three or fewer clicks. This increases the amount of content consumed and welcomes people to navigate more of the site. Incorporating drop down menus, “related topics” links or a search bar are great ways to achieve this. Adding a comment box to certain pages encourages users to make suggestions on how you can improve your website and better serve them. Pretend the search engine is a visitor to your site. If the engine cannot find relevant pages, then it will not identify your site as a useful source of information. With logical accessibility, search engines can easily overlook crucial content and knock your site down in search results. Maximizing accessibility simplifies navigation for both users and search engines, which means it can make or break your chances of being considered a beneficial site. Knowing what your audience is searching for is the first step to better search engine results. It requires an analysis of effective keywords that must be strategically used throughout your site. Then link building exposes your content to larger audiences, which makes it more likely to be recognized by search engines. Finally, accessibility makes it easier for visitors to explore your entire site while also limiting the likelihood of Google’s algorithms overlooking it. When effectively implemented together, keyword research, link building and website accessibility can skyrocket your SEO rankings.

Jessica LeMay is an online marketing specialist at SuretyBonds.com, a nationwide surety bond producer that works with small business owners every day. As a part of the agency’s educational outreach program, Jessica writes informational articles that help entrepreneurs successfully market their businesses.