Ask Lorna: What Would You Like to Know About Search & Social


I’ve decided that I want to get in deep with you.

Rather than give you content based on how you answered our last reader survey, I want to help you answer specific questions on how search engine and social media marketing can help you achieve your goals.

I know a lot about online personal branding, SEO, link building, social media marketing, social networking, inbound marketing, content creation, WordPress, blogging, info product creation, and outsourcing.

Your goals may be to:

  • Network with influencers
  • Create a powerful personal brand as a professional change maker
  • Get a green job
  • Grow your web presence for your green business
  • Utilize your blog better to support your website SEO and drive more sales conversions

So ask me any question about Search and Social Media.

I will do my best to answer you or find an expert to interview for a deeper dive into your question.

One request though: please stay away from really general questions.

For example, “How do I increase search engine traffic to my business” is a really broad question because there are so many different approaches.

However, asking “Can I generate traffic using social bookmarking sites?” is a great question.

So… What are good questions to ask?

Some good questions are:

  • How do I find and connect with more people who share my interests on Twitter?
  • Social media marketing is so time consuming, how can I be more efficient?
  • Is it worth creating videos to drive traffic to my business?
  • How can I improve my search engine rankings?
  • How do I know which keywords I should optimize my websites for?
  • What WordPress plugins do you recommend for greater online visibility?
  • I have a business blog, but it’s so time consuming. How do I make sure my blog is supporting my SEO?
  • How do I design a nice website for the least amount of money possible?
  • How do I outsource more of my day to day marketing, so I can focus on business strategy?

Questions Answered HereIf you have a really interesting question that deserves an in depth response and its own blog post, I’ll let you know.

I’ll be answering these questions while I’m on the road to the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, by video or in your comments.

Leave Your Question as a Comment Below

Image credit: Travelin’ Librarian

This post was written by:

Lorna Li

Lorna Li is a social media and green marketing expert. She enjoys helping green businesses and nonprofits with bootstrap marketing, as well as helping job seekers leverage social media for personal branding.


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Comments

  1. Catherine Howard says:

    I’m working on my website to sell green products. Since I don’t have much capital to invest to build up inventory, what are the merits and risks of drop-shipping and affiliate marketing programs? I like the fact that less shipping (= less energy depletion) is used in such programs, but, as a novice, I worry about scams. What’s your thinking?

  2. Catherine Howard says:

    What’s your opinion on hiring SEO specialists for improving one’s position in searches? Are they worth the investment if one has limited resources, or is the service becoming a necessity in the crowded on-line market?

  3. What is the best way to optimize the use of Google’s new plus 1 feature?

  4. Tessie says:

    I would love some advice on how to create a Facebook page with the Like button to increase foot traffic and sales for a start up company. Would you be able to assist?

  5. Sarah says:

    The following are topics I am most interested in. Can you go more in depth?

    •Network with influencers
    •Create a powerful personal brand as a professional change maker
    •Social media marketing is so time consuming, how can I be more efficient?
    •How can I improve my search engine rankings?
    •How do I know which keywords I should optimize my websites for?
    •How do I design a nice website for the least amount of money possible?
    •How do I outsource more of my day to day marketing, so I can focus on business strategy?

    Thanks for your expert advice!

  6. HLENGIWE says:

    I would like to start an business in the up comming months now my
    problem is how do i go about marketing my services on social sites and having people subcribing to the my services especially the youth market ?

  7. Hi! Further to the facebook question:

    I have a new blogging website. Should I be posting to my personal facebook page or should I set up a new page for business purposes? And should I also have a group page – or instead?

    Also, what do you think are the best websites/directories to register a ‘green’ business?

    Thanks Lorna – love your site!

  8. Cori says:

    I have recently merged with another small business and am trying to learn and provide some of my own sources of advertisement to introduce our products & services.
    Being new at this, I am wonderingw what are some of the most effective and least time consuming online marketing strategies to increase revenue and consumer awareness? I have not used any social medias for online marketing such as facebook. Is this something you would recommend?

  9. Lorna Li says:

    Hi folks,

    First off I want to say, THANK YOU, for your awesome questions! I apologize for not getting back to you sooner – Since Monday 7/11 I’ve been on a total of 5 planes, and tomorrow morning I’m going to get on my 6th.

    Some of your questions will receive in-depth answers via blog post. This will take me a bit longer to deliver as it will require research and thought. Given that I am also heading deep into the Amazon rainforest with questionable satellite Internet, my ability to blog may also be impacted. Please be patient with me and I’ll do my best to give you thoughtful answers!

  10. Lorna Li says:

    @Catherine Howard

    I’ve looked into this question myself, but I can’t say I’m an expert. However I will be on the lookout for someone I can interview to provide you with more answers.

    My research led me to this site:

    http://mywifequitherjob.com/

    And I kept running into WordWide Brands as a highly recommended drop ship directory:

    http://www.worldwidebrands.com/

    Bear in mind I haven’t done drop shipping myself, so I can’t vouch for them.

    Here are some of my preliminary thoughts:

    1) You will need to score drop shipping services to find products that are “green” enough to promote. A lot of the most authentic & interesting eco products I’ve found are from small companies and aren’t available through drop shipping, and do not have affiliate programs set up.

    2) In terms of best practices on vetting suppliers for trust & quality, I would dive into http://mywifequitherjob.com/ for information. I strongly suspect the Steve the blogger may have addressed this. If he hasn’t, he should.

    3) On affiliate marketing – you can either do this organically, via SEO, or take out banner or PPC ads. You will need to read the terms and conditions of the affiliate program to understand to understand what you are allowed to do – some programs will not let you bid on their brand in paid search, as this increases their bid price.

    Bear in mind, if you go the digital advertising route with affiliate marketing, you will need to have enough budget and verify that you will have enough profit margin to make this worth your while. With SEO, it requires a lot of upfront brute force, but the long term ROI is better once you’ve achieved rankings for converting keywords related to your affiliate products.

    You will have an easier time going after long tail keywords. You may want to start there before investing more time / energy going after highly competitive terms.

    Let me know if you have any more questions.

  11. Lorna Li says:

    @Catherine Howard

    That’s a great question, and I will disclose that I am a professional SEO. I’ve been both client side and contractor side, so I hope my perspective from both camps helps.

    Regarding whether or not it is worthwhile hiring an SEO specialist if you have a limited budget, I would say, at the end of the day, what is your time worth?

    If you have an e-Commerce site, you will people to find your products. They will either find your products through ads, organically via search engines, or through social media. Organic SEO is very resource intensive upfront, but has a better long term ROI once your rankings hold. PPC and display advertising require a monthly budget. Once the budget goes away, so does your traffic.

    As a small business owner, your risk is using your limited dollars to hire someone who may or may not be good. At the lower budget range, your chances of getting someone good start to get slimmer.

    You could and should educate yourself as much as possible, so you will be a stronger position to know if you are getting value. But then you have to decide where your time is best served – doing everything yourself, or hiring a specialist with subject matter expertise.

    If I knew nothing about SEO and were in your shoes – trying to make my precious budget go the furthest mile, I would start off with some small advertising campaigns in order to gather data, and scale up if they become more profitable.

    1) Run Facebook ads – it’s cheaper than Google Adwords and has great targeting. Use it with the primary goal of gathering data – what converts – as well as promoting your product. Do a small test run so you don’t burn out your budget, step back and review your results.

    2) Run PPC campaigns – again, to preserve your budget, you could set your campaign to run only in certain geographic areas or during certain times of day. This will give you excellent feedback on what keywords convert.

    3) Once you have an idea of what keywords convert with you, start looking into SEO. When you start evaluating consultants, you will want them to be asking you questions on what keywords are most important to you. This will help you eliminate shysters who want to help you rank for the wrong keywords.

    PPC and display advertising has an easier learning curve than SEO (which in my opinion is a 2 year learning curve), so this may be a better DIY project than DIYSEO.

    Here are some resources to help you evaluate SEO contractors / companies:

    http://www.seomoz.org/ugc/4-points-to-consider-when-choosing-an-seo-company

    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/ten-question-litmus-test-for-professional-seos

    http://www.searchengineoptimizationjournal.com/2011/02/24/seo-professional/

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers,

    Lorna

  12. Lorna Li says:

    @Richard When you refer to Optimizing Google +1, are you referring to optimizing it’s usage to boost your search rankings?

    As I have been traveling, I haven’t played around with it myself to fully gage its effects on traffic or rankings.

    However, I will say that Google +1 is pretty new and it’s pretty hard to tell how much the +1 features will affect your Google rankings, and some of the experiments done to date are a bit fuzzy.

    We do know that social metrics are well correlated with rankings, though no one knows the exact formula. Will Google + 1 be more powerful than Facebook Likes? Tweets and Retweets? Still uncertain, though methinks Google will, for a while, give preference to its own product over other platforms, like it used to preferentially rank Blogger, before it became Splogger.

    Here are some links to experiments and resources on Google + 1:

    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/google-1-and-the-rise-of-social-seo

    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/plus-one-adoption-rates-and-social-sharing-statistics

    http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2076176/Google-1-Increases-CTR-in-Organic-SERPs-Ranking-Boost-Likely-Study

    As I play around with Google + more, I’ll be sure to share my findings.

    Cheers,

    Lorna

  13. Lorna Li says:

    @Tessie Your question on creating a custom Facebook Fan Page oriented towards getting users to click on the Like button is an in depth question that I will go into a blog post.

    I’ve done a lot of research on this and am in the process of creating my own custom Fan Pages. One thing I will tell you is that creating this kind of Fan Page isn’t enough. You still need to drive traffic to it so that enough people land on it and are compelled to click the Like button.

    Likes are great, but emails are better. It would actually be better to create a Fan page that allowed people to optin to your email list. You will need a compelling optin giveaway for this.

    More to follow.

  14. Anton Galenovich says:

    I have an LJ page on Russia nad the Kyoto protocol, carbon trading (http://galenovich.livejournal.com/). Is there a technic that would make more people visit it?

  15. Catherine Howard says:

    Awesome answers, I can hardly tell you how much I appreciate your taking the time (especially during a trip to the Amazon) to share your expertise! I’ve asked these questions of others and never ever got such well-rounded advice — thanks, Lorna!

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