By Bill Rigby and Malathi Nayak REDMOND, Washington (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp unveiled the "Xbox One" on Tuesday, its first new gaming console in eight years, and its strongest push so far to dominate consumers' living rooms with an array of exclusive media content. The Xbox One took four years to develop and will be the launchpad for a "Halo" live-action video series produced by Steven Spielberg. It will be sold worldwide "later this year," games unit chief Don Mattrick told reporters at an event at the software company's campus near Seattle, without providing details on timing or pricing. …
On the May 20, 2013 episode of 7 Minutes in Affiliate Heaven podcast (listen to 7 Minutes in Affiliate Heaven), I talked about the hotel for Affiliate Summit East 2013 selling out, a letter to sell your boss on a conference, and guides on Pinterest to Philadelphia for Affiliate Summit.
I also mentioned the new “nerd bird” flight from San Francisco to Austin, Yahoo buying Tumblr, and where to find non-spammy affiliates.
This was a landmark episode in some ways, because it was the first time I exceeded the 7 minute maximum I set for the show. But nobody will be victimized by my rambling, as the recording is set to cut me off at 7 minutes no matter what.
Please review 7 Minutes in Affiliate Heaven on iTunes.
- Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Sold Out for Affiliate Summit East 2013
- Affiliate Ball at Affiliate Summit East 2013
- Need Help Selling Your Boss on Affiliate Summit East 2013?
- Affiliate Summit East 2013 Has Raised $14,517 So Far to Fight Breast Cancer
- Todd Farmer Joins the Affiliate Summit Team
- Places to Eat, Drink, Shop, and Sightsee During Affiliate Summit East 2013
- Check Out the Affiliate Summit East 2013 Agenda
- Virgin America goes big for first ‘nerd bird’ flight
- Where to Find Non-Spammy Affiliates
- High school drop-out behind blogging site Tumblr sells it to Marissa Mayer’s Yahoo!
- Cory’s figure of speech: $1.3M
Subscribe to 7 Minutes in Affiliate Heaven on iTunes.
by Brian Dean
If you’re like most start ups, link building is at the bottom of your overflowing to-do list.
Fortunately, you don’t need a full-time hire or a pricey SEO
firm to bring your site the search engine traffic it needs to thrive. In
fact, you only need to set aside a few hours of work per month to take
advantage of these these quick and dirty link building opportunities.
1. Turn Brand Mentions Into Links
You’d be surprised how often bloggers and media sites
mention your site without actually linking to your website. While a
mention can help get your name out there, you’ll land significantly more
referral and search engine traffic by turning these brand mentions into
The easiest way to do this is to use Mention.net.
Mention is similar to Google Alerts, but has more filtering features and robust reporting.
Just enter your brand name into Mention and it shows you your latest mentions on blogs, news sites and social media outlets.
If you find a mention in a blog post that’s not linked, reach out to the blogger.
Thank them for the mention and ask them if they’d be willing to change their plain text mention into an SEO-friendly link.
2. Get Busy Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is a bread and butter SEO strategy that lands
you links, referral traffic, and important relationships. According to Search Engine Watch,
Buffer App took their business from completely unknown to 100,000
paying customers largely through guest blogging. It’s important to note
that the Buffer team published a whopping 150 guest posts over a 9-month
period to reach this kind of growth, something that may not be possible
for your startup.
Even if you don’t have the resources for industrial-scale guest
blogging, it’s a must-have in your marketing mix. Just use search
strings in Google like: keyword + “write for us” in order to find sites
in your vertical that openly accept guest posts.
3. Amaze With Infographics
If you’re on a tight budget, infographics can hook you with you the marketing ROI you’re looking for. Neil Patel notes that the 47 infographics that he published for his startup, KISSMetrics brought him more than 2 million visitors and 40,000 backlinks.
The best part?
Each infographic only set him back $600 on average.
If you don’t have a design person on your team that can crank
out infographics, consider hiring a freelance graphic designer at sites
like Elance or Odesk.
If you provide the data, you can usually
snag an attractive infographic for less than $400. Once it’s done, post
it on your company’s blog and send it to top blogs in your industry. If
it’s great, they’ll usually happily post it on their site (with a link
back to you of course!).
4. Leverage Local PR
The old business adage “go where they ain’t” applies to
PR-focused SEO as well.
Every startup on Earth is gunning for a link on the Huffington Post. But
the same can’t be said for local newspaper websites like the Lafayette
Courier and the Providence Journal. Despite their humble locations,
these newspaper websites often pack serious SEO authority.
Unlike multinational heavyweights, local newspapers typically have a
small staff of beat writers they’re typically easier to build
relationships with. This means that you don’t have to join the screaming
masses at HARO to get some press attention. And because these local
newspapers are on extremely tight budgets, they’re usually open to free
content in the form of op-ed pieces written by local business owners
Be sure and visit our small business news site.
by Chris Warden
Local Search Ranking Factors
This is an area that is often overlooked by small business
owners, but its importance can’t be understated. One of the main ranking
factors for local listings is reviews, and in order to achieve high rankings
you not only have to be on these sites, you have to monitor your reputation
Bad reviews sink sites. The difference between a “3″ star
review on Yelp and a “3.5″ star review is a 63-percent increase in business.
That’s just half of a point! Want to increase your business by 60-percent or
more with no additional work? Get and maintain high rankings on review sites.
The most popular of the review sites are Yelp, Google Places,
Angie’s List and Urban Spoon, although there are many others.
Negative reviews are a part of business. The sad truth is
that most of your customers won’t take the time to leave a review if they had a
positive experience, but they’ll go out of their way to do it if they had a
negative one. The key here is reminding people to leave positive reviews. Offer
a coupon, add a table topper reminding people to leave a review, put it on the
receipt, or mention it at the point of sale. There is plenty of room for
Citations are essentially mentions by other businesses,
people or websites. These are links, without actually linking to the site you
are mentioning. This is a popular PR term that has found its way on to the web
in recent years. Citations are another key ranking factor in local search and
properly optimized campaigns get their business name mentioned as often as
possible, from as many different sources as they can find.
Remember, a citation is just a mention of your business.
Anywhere you can leave your business information (directories, forums, blog
posts, etc.) would contribute to the number of citations for your business.
Review & Discovery Sites
Did you know “checking in” when you’re at a place of
business does more than just tell your friends what you’re doing? This simple
act allows Google the opportunity to verify listing information by seeing that
people have actually been to the business, thus proving its authenticity.
This isn’t a ranking factor by itself, but it helps to build
trust that this business is genuine and not a spam listing, which goes a long
way toward earning top rankings. It’s all about trust with Google, and the more
you can do to prove that you’re an actual business, the better your search
The most popular of the review and discovery sites are:
- Google Places
- Urban Spoon
Facebook should be included in this list as well. With graph
search, they’ve essentially become a recommendation engine, and they’ve allowed
users the option to “check in” for quite some time. You’ve already built a
business page (or claimed one) on Facebook, so you’re already set up to allow
people the option to check in when they do business with you.
There are hundreds of these types of sites online, but these
are the most popular, so these are the ones that should get the lion’s share of
Review and discovery sites present two opportunities, or
challenges for local businesses. In essence, you want people to:
- Check in
- Leave positive reviews
But how do you get
them to do that?
Foursquare offers you the option to give a user a coupon for
checking in at your place of business. If they have their phones out, this
might be an opportunity to leave a review. Once you put the thought in a customer’s
head to grab their phone and complete an activity (checking in, in this case)
you’d be well served to ask them to leave a review. If you’ve provided a great
product, service or experience, people will often be more than happy to help
you out with a review if you ask.
There are companies out there, like Sqwid, that
offer you the opportunity to reward positive reviews, offer “second chance”
opportunities to bad ones, and reward customer loyalty all from a single
dashboard. This certainly isn’t a bad option to improve your reviews,
incentivize new reviews and monitor your online reputation from one place.
Additional steps (part
two): Google Places and Yelp offer events for certain types of businesses.
You pay a fee, and they organize events for prolific reviewers to try your
service or offering. This obviously doesn’t work for every business, but if you
are in the bar/restaurant/entertainment industry, this could be a huge
Be sure and visit our small business news site.
By Alexei Oreskovic and Jennifer Saba SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Yahoo Inc will buy blogging service Tumblr for $1.1 billion cash, giving the Internet pioneer a much-needed social media platform to reach a younger generation of users and breathe new life into its ailing brand. The deal, announced on Monday, is a bold bet by Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer to revitalize the company by co-opting a Web property with strong visitor traffic but little revenue. …
Q: Where can I find non-spammy affiliates that aren’t just running coupon sites?
A: Without revealing your affiliate program, I see that you are running it through an affiliate network, and they offer lots of opportunities for enhanced placement and exposure of your affiliate program.
Check with your representative at the affiliate network about opportunities there.
Also, have a look around at who is promoting your competition on paid search and Facebook ads. Reach out to those affiliates if they are driving the traffic to their own sites, rather than directly to the merchant.
Another approach, which I did years ago to recruit quality affiliates, was to send out direct mail pieces.
I would research sites that made sense for my niche, and then pull together a database to contact those sites. Then I would have a postcard made with 3-5 value propositions for the affiliate program.
And then you’ve got your customers. Many are likely already unpaid evangelists for your company, because they like what you are doing. Harness their satisfaction and work on scaling up their voices.
Finally, I would suggest looking into conferences, where you can meet up with large volumes of affiliates in person.
I am not objective on this one, since I am a Co-Founder of Affiliate Summit, but each of the twice yearly conferences provide you a chance to meet more than 1,000 affiliates over three days – way more than you have time to meet.