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Facebook’s changes underscore importance of great posts

Friday, April 25th, 2014

fbLogoCh2If you manage a Facebook page for your business or someone else’s, you’ve probably noticed your posts’ organic reach has diminished in the last month.

And they definitely have, thanks to a change in Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms. It’s rumored that only about 6% of fans actually see a post, and that figure is expected to fall even further this year.

Facebook is attempting to boost its thriving advertising business and manage a deluge of content from individual users and Pages.

How will you respond? As I have written about before, you need to focus on online strategies you can control, such as your website. But you still want to leverage the power of social media marketing, and Facebook is the widest reaching platform with 1,310,000,000 users and 48% of those users log in on any given day, according to Statistic Brain. As the saying goes, numbers don’t lie. It’s simply unwise for brands to not take advantage of social media’s vast influence, despite the negatives.

Try these strategies to garner the most engagement:

1. Use photos.

Images always spark more activity than plain text posts. Even better, make them original photos. Facebook deems these “high-quality” content as opposed to stock images.


2. Target your posts.

Hidden in Facebook’s myriad settings options is the ability to target Page posts to specific users based on their age, gender, location, and other criteria. A smartly targeted post is more likely to engage those users that do see it. Select “edit settings” from the “edit page” drop down menu in the Page’s admin panel.

3. Post at odd hours.

Posting in the late afternoon through evening hours used to be best practice. However, with the multitude of mobile users, there is no ideal time to post. In fact, 48% of 18-34 year olds check Facebook first thing in the morning and 28% take a peek before they even rise from bed, according to Statistic Brain.  Since it’s simple to pre-schedule posts, aim for a variety of times.

4. Cross-promote with other Pages.

Make the effort to navigate across Facebook as your Page, instead of yourself. You can do this by clicking on the tiny arrow in the upper right corner. Under “Use Facebook As” click the page you want to identify with. Then you are ready to visit other Pages. Like, comment and share other Page statuses, and always tag them. This is a great way to show support and help grow their organic reach. Plus, it’s a friendly gesture – and isn’t that what SOCIAL media is all about?!

Hopefully, these Pages reciprocate and do the same for you, which will increase your Page’s organic reach!

5. Be engaging.

This may seem obvious (and it’s challenging to create engaging, quality content day in and day out) but it’s essential! Remember, Facebook’s ultimate goal is to keep as many people as possible glued to the social network for as long as possible. The better your posts (as measured by likes, comments, shares, and time on screen), the more Facebook “rewards” you with broader reach with more time in the newsfeed.

If you don’t have the time and energy to pump the Facebook content stream, it’s best to hire someone to manage it in-house or outsource it to a professional social media writer.

Why you need to understand social search in 2014

Friday, February 14th, 2014


Today is Valentine’s Day, traditionally a day for flowers, chocolates, cards, and expressing true love. But really, shouldn’t we show love for the important people in our life all year-round?

Chances are, you care immensely about your customers; otherwise why are you in business? Social media platforms are a fabulous opportunity to interact with your customers and prospects…and show that you care. But now, social media activity influences SEO in valuable ways.

If you’ve read this blog before, you’re familiar with strategies to improve organic SEO and social media best practices.

Since Google’s latest algorithm update (Hummingbird), there has been a new focus to optimize your content for social media. This is also called social search.


Whether or not Google intended to do it, Google +1’s are now the most important factor in SEO. Even though most people aren’t active on Google +, posts that receive +1’s benefit by better rankings.


Google also increased the value of all social shares. Traditional SEO  focused on link-building (the more links to, and from, your content, the higher it ranked on Google search. Basically, links are votes in your content’s favor.)


While links are still incredibly important, equally important are social endorsements such as Facebook likes and shares, LinkedIn shares, Twitter tweets and retweets, Pinterest pins, and of course, Google +1’s.


To garner more activity on your social media accounts (and boost social search, here are five tips for optimizing your content for social media:

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Tourism & Travel: How to elevate visibility for your business

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Vineyard, valley, and mountain views in Yamhill Valley, Oregon. (Photo by Jennifer Nice)

Vineyard, valley, and mountain views in Yamhill Valley, Oregon. (Photo by Jennifer Nice)

Recently, Travel Yamhill Valley asked me to provide insight for their members about how to attract travel writers.  The TYV members own wineries, lodging, restaurants, and various attractions in Oregon wine country.

Besides word-of-mouth, everyone in the tourism business knows the best advertising is getting published in print or online by travel writers.  As an online marketer/SEO web writer and freelance travel writer, it’s my pleasure to offer perspective from both sides of the coin.

At times, tourism operators or small business owners aspire to get the word out about their destination. They may try to submit a manuscript or article unsolicited to a publication, but this often doesn’t work out as they hoped.

The query process for publication is complicated and competitive. Unless you are a travel writer yourself, it can be time-consuming and daunting to pitch stories about your business.

Instead, it’s useful to focus on factors you can control:

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Google Analytics Greatness

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Jennifer Nice of Write Nice breaks down the 5 steps of Google AnalyticsHave you tried Google Analytics yet? This free online tool is the eyes and ears of your website. Google Analytics automatically collects helpful data for you, so you can better understand, serve, and build your website audience.

Having a website, but not knowing how people use it, is like talking without listening. Whether you’re selling products, directing customers to brick and mortar stores or building your brand, Google Analytics takes the guesswork out of measuring how well you’re achieving your website goals.

1. Why is it important to gauge my website metrics in the first place?
Knowing what your website visitors — who are often current and potential customers — like and dislike about your site can help you reach your overall business goals.

When you understand your prospects’ preferences, you can tailor your website to meet their needs.  A better website experience will inevitably convert a prospect to a customer.

2. How can I connect Google Analytics to my website?
If you’re not already using Google Analytics, getting started is fairly easy. First, visit the Google Analytics website. Next, click on “Create an Account” and follow the basic account configuration steps.

You’ll then be supplied with a snippet of Google Analytics HTML to insert into the source code for your website. This code is how Google Analytics taps into and captures your website’s usage statistics. If you don’t have access to the back end of your website to insert the tracking code, ask your web master to do it for you.

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Bare essentials to guide your website functionality

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Google's Hummingbird update is an important consideration when updating your website, according to Jennifer Nice of Write Nice.

Do you know how Google’s Hummingbird update will affect your SEO?
(Photo courtesy of

Have a website?

No? It’s (over) time to build one, preferably with WordPress.

Yes? Great -it’s time to update, either by refreshing your content or going through a total redesign.

Follow these essential tips to help your business show up on the first page of Google AND enhance the user experience:

1. Simplicity is power. Your website must be easily navigable. Period. If it’s not, no one will stay longer than 30 seconds. Keep it clean, remove the clutter, and ensure the design guides readers through the site. Focus on readability and a clear call to action.

2. Content is design. Graphic design trends flutter in and out of style – just like any design (think fashion, home, cars, etc)! Useful, well-written, and optimized content will always elevate a website to the top of SERP (search engine results pages) and make it worth visiting. Remember website visitors eventually become prospects, especially if it’s designed to convert leads into paying customers.

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Make your social media investment pay off

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Write Nice: Make your social media investment pay off

Photo credit

Does social media ever seem like the thirstiest time suck in your marketing? Unless you have the luxury of an employee devoted to social media, or you outsource your social media marketing, it’s all on you.

Many small businesses wonder why their investment in social media (whether it’s time and/or money) isn’t yielding the return they anticipated. It could be time to evaluate your social media activity and see where the inconsistencies and holes are lurking.

Review these five goals to leverage your social media presence:

1.Strategize. Many entrepreneurs focus on social media tools, but not how or why to use them. Determine what you want to accomplish, then set a theme and calendar for the content. Remember, you want to offer value to your fans and customers.

To properly strategize, get clear on the mission/vision of your business, your target market, and how you help solve their issues. All your social media marketing – really ALL your marketing messages should flow from this foundation.

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So what “About Us”?

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Jennifer Nice of Write Nice shares how to punch up your About Us page.

Does your About page put readers to sleep?

If you’re like most businesses, your website features an About Us webpage. Quick – what are the highlights of that page?

Hmm…thought so. Most About pages don’t win high marks for excitement and creativity. In fact, they’re one of the most neglected webpages and that sleeper content shows.

However, what many people don’t realize is that your About page can optimized for conversions. Go ahead, check your analytics page (or ask your webmaster) and you may be surprised how much traffic crosses your About page.

But if the content isn’t engaging your readers – and if there’s no call-to-action, then what’s the purpose of  your About page? Many businesses fill that page with generic information and/or company history. Yawn! But I get it – it’s hard to write about yourself.

Try to think of your About page as a way to connect with your readers and prospects. What distinguishes you from the competition? Don’t shy away from showcasing some personality!

Read on for more tips to jazz up your About page and increase conversions:

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Reach out with enewsletters

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Image courtesy of Wayne Elsey Enterprises.

Image courtesy of Wayne Elsey Enterprises.

Do you send enewsletters as part of your online marketing strategy?

With the time and effort social media marketing consumes (including blogging and SEO), many businesses owners don’t see the point of doing an enewsletter. Let me guide you to the light:

Email is still the most profitable online sales channel – because it’s also the most targeted form of online marketing.

People are busy and forgetful. You may have a smokin’ hot blog, but unless someone’s searching for you, your prospect may not visit your website.

Most readers don’t know what RSS feeds are or how to use them for email updates.

And social media is tons of fun, but the news feeds are cluttered. They may miss your clever post, unless it went viral.

Arriving in someone’s inbox is personal, and a supreme opportunity to connect.

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Is bad content to blame?

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Write Nice shows how to avoid web content mistakes.

Photo courtesy of Content Hero.

Ask any business owner how their website is doing, and you’ll probably hear a sigh and “Well….” Maybe see an eye roll. Can we agree most websites could be improved and updated in some way?  When you feel your website isn’t doing the job for your business, who (or what) do you point the finger to?

Your graphic designer?

The SEO company?

Google’s fickleness?

News flash: Bad content is often the reason websites underperform. Poorly written content will not drive leads, sales, or shares. It doesn’t matter how much you market your website if the content is low-quality. Here are 5 common mistakes to avoid when it comes to webpage content:

Mistake #1 – Too much focus on SEO.

Your readers should be the priority, not search engines. Sure, an overabundance of link building, technical SEO, social media, and keyword stuffing may help drive traffic to your website. But if readers don’t stick around to read it and actually do something (make a purchase, sign up for an enewsletter, fill out your contact form), then what’s the point? Always write to be read.

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Spring into your social media plan

Monday, April 1st, 2013

magnolia treeAh, spring fever. Those sunshiny days and blooming trees invigorate our spirit. Spring is a grand time for renewal and fresh starts, even in business.

How’s your social media content plan? Most small business owners know what they should be doing but they’re short on time. Don’t let your intentions go stale this spring (or anytime!)

Follow these 10 tips to manage your social media marketing:

1. Focus on one social media platform at a time.

It’s easy to get swept up in the latest and greatest, but you need to understand who your target audience is and where they hang out online. Commit to that social media platform, join the conversation, and add value to your fans/followers/connections/circles. (Whew! Did I miss one?)

2. Don’t worry about being perfect.

Your audience doesn’t expect perfection, but they will appreciate someone who’s humble and sincere. Listening and learning from others is a great place to start.

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