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Correctly using the hreflang tag offers many benefits for SEO if you run a website with target audiences in multiple countries, languages or even dialects of a single language.

For all its power, Google is still a machine and doesn’t know what it’s reading unless you properly identify your content. The Hreflang tag tells Google the language of a page on your site and the country the page serves. This tag ensures different pages on your site end up in front of the right people.

What is hreflang?

Pronounced “h-ref-lang”, hreflang is an HTML tag used in the backend HTML of your website that tells Google all of the language and/or country variants of a given url on the site. You may translate the same set of pages into different languages for different audiences and you want to identify the language for each version of a webpage.

Perhaps you ship products to many parts of the world – someone in Sweden doesn’t want to see information about costs and shipping to the United States. With this tag, you can tell Google which url contains Swedish content and provides information and costs for shipping to Sweden.

The hreflang tag also prevents Google from assuming you’re making duplicate content; pages for the UK and US are similar content-wise since they are both in English, but they serve different countries. This tag helps Google know you aren’t duplicating content but in fact making slightly different content for each place.

How does hreflang work?

Like other HTML tags, hreflang can be easy to get wrong if you flub the syntax. Luckily, there are tools online to help you.

The first thing to know is there are three places you can put the code, and where you choose to put it determines how you write the code. The three locations are in the:

If you choose to add this to the HTML code in the <head> you will want to add all of the language variants including itself in the tags. (see Google article)

The first part of the code specifies the url and the second part specifies the language and/or country. For example, the code might look like this:

<link rel=”alternate” href=”https://www.example.com” hreflang=”en-us”/>

Here you are specifying the url https://www.example.com is in American English (en-us).

You can differentiate between the same language spoken in a different country, e.g. Spanish from Spain and Spanish from Mexico. In hreflang, this might look like

<link rel=”alternate” href=”https:/www./example.com/es” hreflang=”es-es”/>

<link rel=”alternate” href=”https://www.example.com/mx” hreflang=”es-mx”/>

The first url is in Spanish from Spain and the second is in Spanish from Mexico.

A user’s current location and language settings determine what they see when they search in Google. If someone’s IP address gives the impression they are in a country in which a certain language is spoken, they are more likely to get results in that language.

If all this sounds a bit too technical, fear not: there are tools you can use to generate hreflang code. There are also great companies out there like Webcertain who are experts at international SEO and can help you if it’s all a little too much.

On the other hand, if you want to get started tackling the code yourself, Google’s own post about hreflang is a good place to start, as well as this post from Moz.

Examples of sites using hreflang well

Let’s take a look at a site using hreflang effectively. When I query ‘Zara’, Google brings up the US English version of their site because my default Google search settings are for American English:

If I change my Google search settings to the country of France and language to ‘French’, I get the following result for the same query (‘Zara’):

How using hreflang can boost your SEO

Using hreflang doesn’t necessarily help with ranking, but it ensures the right page gets served to the right people. This reduces your bounce rate because people are finding the page they want (and can read!) and aren’t clicking away quickly. A lower bounce rate is better for your site’s SEO.

At the end of the day, both you and Google have the same goal: you both want people to find the best possible landing page for a given keyword search (your page of course!). Knowing how to use hreflang in your HTML markup is an excellent step to get you there.

The post How the Hreflang Tag Boosts Your International Site’s SEO appeared first on Roaring Pajamas.

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As an SEO agency, we are often asked about the use of meta keywords. Search engines and their algorithms change on a continual basis. Since our clients understand that search engine algorithms and search engine optimization rules change over time, they often pose the question, “Should I use meta keywords?”

This blog is here to answer that often-argued question. To begin, let’s confirm exactly what the term means. Meta keywords are the strategically chosen phrases that are placed into the HTML of a web page and are used to help inform a search engine of the given topic of a web page.

The meta keywords are not visible in the text on a web page but reside in the HTML code. These keywords are placed behind the scenes, such as through a WordPress plugin, like Yoast.. Well, it used to be available in Yoast. You’ll learn momentarily if that’s still true today.

The history of meta keywords helps reveal how you should address your own SEO and digital marketing now.

The Story of Meta Keywords

Early on, search engines did not restrict the number of keywords allowed in the meta keywords tag. However, at some point, Google and other search engines noticed users were “keyword stuffing” into this meta tag. In other words, some marketers were cramming a high volume of meta keywords into the back end of their web pages. This action was seen as “spammy.” Google took action and created a limit that has been reduced over time. Today, Google suggests allowing only a maximum of 2 – 3 meta keywords for each web page.

Around 2011, Google made an announcement via a Youtube Video that Google was not using meta keywords as a ranking factor. This change kicked off other platforms’ changes. There was a popular WordPress plugin by Yoast for example that, mentioned before, infused the meta keywords into that given page or post. Recently, the Yoast plugin on WordPress eliminated the field for adding keywords to the meta keywords tag. These actions have led many marketers and companies to ask if meta keywords, in turn, have any benefits.¹

To Use or Not Use, That is the Question

We still recommend using meta keywords because although they are not acknowledged by Google or Bing, remember there are other search engines. While Google may make up a majority of the market, other search engines, especially internationally, still exist and they should be considered if the target audience for a website requires these other search engines. Examples of these other search engines include Baidu (a China-based search engine), Yandex and Naver.

Each of these search engines uses meta keywords differently.

  • Baidu does take meta keywords into consideration for ranking. The ideal number is 3 – 5 keywords implemented on every page. Do not go to a higher number as that may be considered keyword stuffing.
  • Yandex: May be used when determining the page’s relevance to search queries.
  • Naver: The search engine does use meta keywords. They should be implemented on every page on the site and should include 3 keyword phrases. Avoid keyword stuffing.

When asking yourself, “Should I use meta keywords?”, consider that these other search engines could be using them and, if you opt out of implementing the meta keywords, you could be missing important opportunities to rank, increase organic traffic and convert visitors to customers.

For example, a project manager at Bing, Duane Forrester, shared that “meta keywords is a signal. One of roughly a thousand we analyze. Getting the use of meta keywords right is a nice perk for us, but won’t rock your world. Abusing meta keywords can hurt you.”

In other words, meta keywords, when used properly and in a safe proportion, can help your ranking.

To be safe rather than sorry, we recommend to all our clients that they use meta keywords. There is no need to be worried about your Google ranking, either. In a Search Engine Round Table with Gary Illyes of Google, he shared that Google does not see the use of meta keywords as spam so it will not penalize a site for using this tag.

¹Source: https://datadrivenlabs.io/blog/meta-keyword-tag-google-2018/

The post Should I Use Meta Keywords on My Website for SEO? appeared first on Roaring Pajamas.

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You want to know the social media trends 2019 – and for good reason. After all, you know that social media is critical to almost all brands’ marketing and overall success. Because social media is ever-changing, staying “in the know” will help you confidently strategize and grow your business further this coming year.

That’s why, to help you be one step ahead of the rest of the pack, our team at Roaring Pajamas is sharing our insights into the future of social media.

Remember, even if social media felt like a challenging “To Do” for you this past year, know there is hope.

In fact, the chief marketing officer of Hootsuite, Penny Wilson, shares that, “While 2018 had its challenges, they translate into tremendous new opportunities for brands to establish deeper, more authentic and longer-lasting relationships with customers in 2019 and beyond—connections that will help achieve those broader business objectives.”¹

Ready to use the power of social media to build these kinds of authentic, long-term connections with dream customers? Let’s share the trends that’ll help you get there!

The Theme of Social Media Trends in 2019

An overarching pattern exists for the future of social media. We, like most experts, predict a shift from the written word into visuals, especially video. Other social media savants agree. Take Marcus Sheridan. Formerly known as The Sales Lion, this author and podcast host has proclaimed that by 2019, he estimates 80% of all content we consume will be video.

The popularity of video is a rise of both evergreen video and live streaming. Live streaming offers immense power due to the level of highly engaging interaction. By using live video, brands and individuals can respond to comments, answer questions live and create a greater sense of connection. That’s why live and video-based mediums are important social media trends for 2019.²

Another reason live video is so engaging is because this medium feels authentic. With the fears around fake news and overly perfect feeds, consumers are feeling that need for genuine connection and are more likely to build trust and loyalty with brands that create down-to-Earth video and live content.

This brings us to a few of the top, specific social media trends for 2019.

Insta-Stories

In 2016 Instagram added Insta-Stories, the SnapChat-like feature letting accounts post short storytelling segments that disappear in 24 hours. With the attraction and growth of “live” and content that feels more spontaneous and authentic, Stories is only growing as one of the top social media trends in 2019.

There may also be more advertisements in between stories of followed accounts. Paid ads are a powerful way to use marketing dollars to get in front of ideal audiences and measure your ROI.

Facebook Live

Facebook Live was rolled out to some users in August 2015 and, by August 2016, anyone with a Facebook account had the ability to utilize this live streaming capability. Since launching, Facebook Live has helped many brands grow their reach and connect more deeply with more clients. Facebook Live will continue as one of the top social media trends in 2019.

The numbers speak for themselves. For example, Search Engine Journal cited that their average Facebook Live engagement was 178% higher than the average engagement of a regular post. In addition, Live posts achieved reaches of at least double the amount of “normal” posts.³

Ads in Facebook Stories

Currently, most ads we see on Facebook are in our main feeds and sidebars. The same way Instagram features advertisements in between stories of followed accounts, it’s likely Facebook will introduce such ads, as well. As ads are key to the future of social media, keep this information in mind when considering your Facebook and overall marketing budget for 2019.

Bots on the Rise

Chatbots are growing in popularity – and will only continue to expand this coming year. From setting up accounts to purchasing airline tickets and booking hotels, chatbots are being used to maximize efficiency and increase convenience. After all, a bot can be at work on a website 24/7 – rather than having a human working at 2 am, a bot can be there to help.

Influence Marketing

Partnering with influencers is a trend that is continually effective – and certainly one of the key social media trends 2019. In our work at Roaring Pajamas, we’ve found continued effective results by partnering with influencers. The right partners have like audiences with built-in trust with their followers, so when an influencer features your brand – ears are already perking up to listen!

Buy Direct on Instagram

Look out for Instagram adding a new shopping feature, which lets consumers buy products directly through the platform. For example, a decorator can post an image with household items and let visitors purchase by tapping on the item.

What Social Media Trends 2019 Do You Predict?

Our team and other experts feel strongly that the trends listed through this blog are the future of social media, but we want to hear your input too.

What trends do you think the New Year will bring?

Please share in the comments below!

¹Source: Ad Week
²Source: Social Media Examiner
³Source: InfusionSoft

The post What’s the Future of Social Media? Social Media Trends 2019 appeared first on Roaring Pajamas.

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With December fast approaching, the Roaring Pajamas’ Holiday Gift Guide for 2018 is here to help make shopping for the ultra-techy person in your life much easier. We know figuring out the right office gifts for coworkers, loved ones and all around tech lovers can be a challenge. You want to get something that’s truly helpful and liked but aren’t quite sure what to buy. After all, technology is rapidly changing, and you want these gifts to be the latest.

Rather than traipse down the aisles of Target, wander around Best Buy or spend hours scrolling on Amazon, we want to share with you our list of concrete ideas and company favorites.

That’s why we created this:

Roaring Pajamas’ Holiday Gift Guide for 2018 for business owners, social media mavens – and beyond! 

This list includes the prime “Oh my gosh, no way! Thank you!” office gifts for coworkers and gadgets that will make life, including work time, more enjoyable.

Explore The Gifts For the Person Who Works From Home

AmazonBasics Ventilated Adjustable Laptop Stand: To kick off our Holiday Gift Guide for 2018, we are excited to present this ventilated, adjustable laptop stand. The metal mesh allows your laptop to run cooler, helping to prevent crashes, and even draw heat away from your trusty laptop. If cords tend to bug you? That’s another perk. This stand can gather up and tuck away 6 cords. Cord overwhelm, be gone! The best part? It’s only $19.99!

For the Clean Freak

PhoneSoap 3 UV Cell Phone Sanitizer: This is the perfect gift for the cleanest person you know. This device, as seen on the TV show Shark Tank, uses UV light to clean your phone, killing 99.99% of all the bacteria that gathers on your phone throughout the day. Because, whether we like to think about it or not!, our phone attracts and accumulates a frightening amount of bacteria. However, we don’t wash phones like we do our hands so that bacteria adds up. That’s why we had to include the PhoneSoap for our tech Holiday Gift Guide for 2018. Your friend who owns a startling amount of hand sanitizer will LOVE this device. Plus, this pod simultaneously charges your phone. One more unique benefit? This pod can clean other things as well, from keys to headphones!

For the Tech Lovers

An Amazing Monitor: You have that coworker or loved one who uses a variety of devices, from tablets to their laptop. Here are two monitors to take the tech experience up a notch. The Dell 24” Touch Monitor is a touchscreen monitor that allows the user to combine the touchscreen of a tablet with the power and capabilities of a desktop. We also recommend the Dell 29” Ultrasharp Monitor because this monitor is massive, allowing the user to spread out all types of work across the screen.

Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard: This keyboard is one of those gadgets that’ll have social media gurus going gaga. This keyboard is useful with your computer AND your smartphone or tablet. The keyboard easily switches between devices and is easy to pair with Android, iOS, Windows and Mac alike. Our own team is passionate about using the keyboard for typing up social media posts and engaging on Instagram. After all, fingers get tired after so much Insta comment typing via mobile! Didn’t expect our Holiday Gift Guide for 2018 to help avoid carpal tunnel, eh?

For the Commuter

Bose SoundSport Wireless-Free Headphones: Have a friend who takes public transportation to work or loves to listen to a podcast while they walk part or all of the way to the office? Traditional headphones with the big wire probably annoy them far more than they realize. That is why these headphones are one of the best choices for gifts for coworkers in your office. This set of wireless earbuds offer excellent Bose sound – without any tangled cords. Plus, the earbuds come with their own charging case and include anti-sweat technology, so they’re great for workouts, too.

For the Entrepreneur

The Miracle Time Cube: A business owner has a lot to get done and they need to be hyper-focused. That is the beauty of the Time Cube. Rather than set phone alarms, which can be distracting and lead to time scrolling Instagram, this cube allows you to set timers to work on a task in the zone. The entrepreneur or tech worker in your life can hop on a phone meeting and flip the cube to 30 minutes, starting the countdown. The cube also made our Holiday Gift Guide for 2018 because it’s ideal for other tasks like setting timers while cooking, giving yourself 15 minutes to read before doing errands or timing workouts. 

Now, we turn it over to you.

Has one of these gadgets in the annual Roaring Pajamas’ Holiday Gift Guide for 2018 stood out to you – and made it easy to choose a gift for someone else or, hey, yourself? Let us know in the comment below!

The post Roaring Pajamas’ Holiday Gift Guide for 2018 appeared first on Roaring Pajamas.

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Used well, knowing how to make a nofollow link can make a powerful difference in your SEO. Having been immersed in the world of domain authority and keyword ranking for years (on years!), I have seen the industry’s continual growth and evolution. SEO is a constantly changing landscape. (That’s why the Roaring Pajamas team and I create SEO tutorials!)

One important change to the SEO arena was made in 2005:  The ability to create a nofollow link.

That’s right – nofollow links weren’t always a thing. After people began to use spam tactics, such as posting links to others pages in all types of formats, like through blog comments, the nofollow feature was introduced. However, not knowing how to make a nofollow link is still common.

Now, nofollows are used for a variety of reasons. At Roaring Pajamas, we believe – in our heart of hearts – that the technique is not used enough but is very important. Let’s address why and how you can start implementing this feature ASAP.

First, What is a NoFollow Link?

So, before we jump into tactics for why and how to make a nofollow link, let’s confirm what we are typing about! Here’s what we mean by this term.

A Nofollow link is a link (hyperlinked text) on a web page we tell to not attribute any of the page’s authority to the linked external site/page.

Here’s an example to clarify!

A search engine bot crawls your page searching for what your beautiful page offers, as well as the other pages you have linked throughout. When the crawler sees you linked to something, the crawler says, “Oh – they cared enough to link this source, it must be pretty good! I’m going to scope that out.”

The bot goes to that page and explores, getting to know the page’s content and quality, as well as your own content and quality. The crawler then connects that site’s features and credibility to your own.

The fact that the crawler shares your authority with the target page is very important. So, your default for links should be set to nofollow. Then, whenever you know you want to provide a follow link, that being a more rare situation, remove the attribute as needed.

First, here’s how to set it up!

How to Make a Nofollow Link

To make a nofollow link, add a nofollow attribute to the <a> or hyperlink tag on your page.

This attribute allows the visitor to click the link – but tells the search engine not to share your page’s authority with the target page.

Here is how to add that attribute to the tag.

  1. Create a link in the visual view in your content management system (CMS).
  2.  Switch to the HTML view in your content management system. This mode is often dubbed “Text”, for example, in WordPress.  Once you enter this mode, find the correct link in the code by searching for “<a”.
  3. Add the necessary attribute to the link. Add “rel=nofollow” to the link. See the example below.

For the link: <a href=”https://www.roaringpajamas.com”>Roaring Pajamas</a>

We added:

<a href=”https://www.roaringpajamas.comrel=”nofollow”>Roaring Pajamas</a>

And there you have it, how to make a nofollow link!

When to Use NoFollows

The nofollow attribute is meant to be used in situations where you want to provide a link to content, but the site either does not need any of your authority (the site has more authority than your site), or for other reasons, you don’t want to share authority.

The nofollow link is ideal for other specific situations, such as those below.

  • Use a nofollow on links to pages requiring registration. If the visitor needs to login when they get to that page, use a nofollow link.
  • If you have a reward or paid partnership with a brand, adding the nofollow attribute is the right, ethical step. Essentially, non-editorial links may have the attribute. This also includes press releases or other types of paid links.
When to Share Link Authority With External Sites

You now know how to make a nofollow link – but should you? There are times when sharing authority is ideal, such as linking to a high-quality article that offers great value or to partners and sources you trust.

For example, if you are a website designer and just designed a gorgeous website for a client, link to that with full authority. If you are co-hosting a podcast with an established entrepreneur, link to that podcast and link the entrepreneur to their website. This is a great way to share the love and your authority!

Explore Another Important Link Strategy

For additional link strategy, we suggest also studying how to create the best quality backlinks. So today, in addition to learning how to make a nofollow link – up your SEO game even further by exploring how to build quality backlinks and why they matter.

And, if you have any questions or thoughts on using the nofollow strategy?

Please share in the comments below!

The post How to Make a Nofollow Link and When to Use It appeared first on Roaring Pajamas.

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The power of Facebook messenger bots in a brand’s marketing arsenal is valuable for connecting with customers and driving sales, but is often overlooked.

Think about this – you hop onto an unfamiliar brand Facebook page. You are seeking information about a product you may be interested in purchasing, but you just don’t see what you are looking for in front of your face. You are about to hop off the page and say forget it, when all of a sudden, a friendly chatbot pops up in the bottom right hand corner of your screen.

“Hi – Welcome to our community! If you need help or have any questions, reply to this message.” As if they read your mind. You stick around, message the bot, get the information you need and then you purchase the product after all.

Chatbots for business are beneficial and useful tools you should have in your Facebook marketing game plan. Facebook messenger bots offer the ability to automatically engage your customers on Facebook — answering any questions and clearing up any concerns — thus, increasing your sales by influencing potential customers to actually convert.

Automation is queen in business and chatbots for business eliminate the need for extra employees, and save lots of of time and funds. Plus, if bots help increase your sales then it’s a win-win situation.

Facebook released data about the effectiveness of businesses using chatbots in case you need further convincing. Fifty-three percent (53%) of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly. And 56% of people prefer messaging over calling customer service. We all know calling customer service and being put on hold forever is the worst. Simply messaging a bot and receiving an almost instant response reassures the customer you care about their satisfaction and you value their time and their business.

As with every type of marketing tactic, in order to see positive results, you need to go about using chatbots for business the proper way. Some brands have mastered the art of Facebook messenger bots. Here are some of the ways we recommend using a chatbot messenger to connect with your customers on Facebook.

Guide Your Consumer to Find the Answer

Whether consumers are searching for a specific product, inquiring about shipping to a location or some other issue, a chatbot’s job is to guide consumers to always find the answer. Think through any and all questions your consumers may ask and personalize the chatbot to ask and answer flawlessly.

Don’t be a Robot

Even though the chatbot is well…a bot, the tool shouldn’t act like one! You want your messenger bot to show personality — give the bot life! Customer service should be helpful, as well as friendly, fun and a positive experience. Match the bot’s tone to your brand’s voice attributes — truly crafting the voice and personality to perfection. Don’t be afraid to use emojis or gifs in your responses if appropriate.

Be Active After Business Hours

People shop at all hours of the day, therefore, your business should be able to respond at nearly all hours of the day. Facebook messenger bots should always be on and ready to answer any and all questions and concerns.

Evaluate and Adjust Accordingly

You may not get the chatbots tool right the first time…or even the second time for that matter. Your customers may ask questions you didn’t think of at first. Customers may still not convert for some reason. Your job is to evaluate their journey and experience with your Facebook messenger bots and your Facebook pages as a whole – then adjust accordingly. Constant improvement is key.

Is your business is thinking about using Facebook messenger bots to connect with customers? Comment below with some of your fears or concerns using chatbots for business.

The post Using Facebook Messenger Bots to Connect with Customers appeared first on Roaring Pajamas.

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Do you know how to tag other brands on social media? Do you know that you should tag other brands?

The reality is that few businesses (or even individuals) understand the importance of giving proper credit for branded content. When running social media programs for your business, tagging brands in your posts isn’t just the polite (and right) thing to do—according to some social media platforms, giving proper credit is the rule.

Of course, you don’t need to worry about how to properly tag other brands if all of your content is original—but, let’s be honest, coming up with consistent original content for every social media profile isn’t always easy! That’s why many businesses—ours included—occasionally posts content that was first created and shared by someone else.

Whether you post a photo of a famous celebrity, share a meme or borrow content from your own team members, you need to know how to tag and properly attribute credit . . . or face some big-time social media consequences.

Earlier this year, Facebook updated their stance: Their branded content guidelines specifically state that brands may not “tag a Page, brand or business partner without their prior consent” or “accept anything of value to post content that you did not create or were not involved in the creation of, or that does not feature you.”

Their updated rules were specifically meant to combat paid partnerships between publishers/creators and marketers, where publishers—often influencers and less-well-known celebrities—were paid to distribute content that didn’t belong to them (and wasn’t advertised as such).

“But wait! We’re not exchanging money for content!” you might protest. First of all, good! But if you gain a fan and then a customer through your Facebook page, who’s to say another brand’s content didn’t help? Better to be safe than sorry, right?

Facebook’s effort is an understandable one—they want to improve the user experience by making the quality of content on everyone’s feeds just a little bit better. Individuals Instagram users may still be able to get away without knowing how to tag properly, but the same is no longer true for businesses large and small. And while Facebook’s rules may not be standard (yet) on every other social media platform, they’re still worth following across the board.

So what does all this mean for your business page? Well, you can continue to share valuable content from other brands with your followers. You just need to be a little more careful about ensuring you’re following the “rules”.

Here’s how to do just that on Facebook—and anywhere else:

1. Don’t Mix Payment in With Publishing

This first rule is the basic premise of Facebook’s latest guidelines: They’re explicitly saying that you cannot publish content that you didn’t create in exchange for a paycheck. To be honest, we’d have advised you the same, regardless of Facebook’s stance.

Work to create content that is unique to your business and to your brand. Of course, occasionally sharing another brand’s content can be helpful and even relevant—but when you need to do so, follow the other rules outlined here and remember that compensation is out of the question.

2. Ask for Permission Before Posting

Asking for permission is always good practice. Don’t just give credit to the original poster—though that’s important, too! As a business, you should confirm that you have permission to share someone else’s creation before you post anything.

As you probably already know, a lot of time and energy goes into creating a single piece of content for Facebook or Instagram or your blog. When you utilize another brand’s investment for your own gain—there can be major social media (or even legal) repercussions.

Asking for permission to use images or video that have been created by someone else is a surefire way to keep yourself out of a mess.

3. Give (Proper) Credit Where Credit is Due

Imagine how you’d feel if you created something, only to have your content shared (and Liked and Followed) elsewhere—with no attribution to you or your hard work. Probably awful and infuriated, right? You don’t want to be the cause of that scenario for someone else—or worse, become the target of a lawsuit for copyright infringement!

Give credit to the original creator of any piece of content. If you didn’t take the photo or create the meme or design the graphic, lead your audience back to those who did.

This step is pretty easy once you’ve gained someone’s permission. They’ve already said “Yes”—now be cognizant of properly crediting them for their work. We’ve discussed how to tag content by adding a photo credit before: Be crystal clear about the source of your content. Whether on your blog, on Facebook, on Instagram or anywhere else, that means not just naming the source, but linking back to them where possible, too.

Always give credit where credit is due.

* * *

Sure, having to ask for permission and provide credit for every shared piece of content can be time-consuming (and perhaps even a little inconvenient), but doing so is not just good social media karma—it’s following the rules.

Worry not: If you follow our tips above, you’ll never wonder how (or when) to tag and share branded content ever again!

Do you share content from other brands on social media? Let us know your thoughts on the “rules” in the comments below!

The post How to Properly Tag Other Brands on Social Media appeared first on Roaring Pajamas.

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If you have a blog for your business—and you should be blogging—then you’ve likely wondered how to manage all of the deadlines and details that make your content successful. That’s where a blog content strategy comes in.

By having a plan that outlines your audience, your topics, your deadlines and more, you will consistently post valuable content that your audience can’t wait to read. And that’s the goal for your business blog, right?

Follow these five steps to craft a solid blog content strategy:

Know Your Audience

Before you start creating your content, figure out who will read what you have to share. As a business owner, you may have already done this exercise—by researching and developing personas of your ideal customers, you have done the work to identify your ideal readers, too. That’s the point of your content after all—to offer enough free value to your readers that they eventually become paying customers and advocates of your brand.

If you haven’t yet identified your ideal customer and readers, now is a great time to start. Do some research and develop a persona (either made up or based on a real customer) that represents each ideal customer for your business. Find out the questions they’re asking, the content they’re consuming, the terms they search in Google; consider their pain points, their desires and what they would find most valuable in your product or service.

Knowing your audience well ensures that you write content they actually want to read—and will also help you determine when you should post and how often, how long your blog posts should be, what images you should include, how you should promote your posts and more.

Get really clear on who you want to serve with your content before you create anything.

Come Up With Ideas Using Keywords

Now that you’ve done your research, you have a pretty good idea of what your audience may want to read. But if you’re still wondering how to come up with content ideas, you can take that research a step further—keyword research is a valuable tool not just for optimizing your SEO, but also for writing about the exact topics your readers are searching.

Of course, keyword research and SEO can be complicated—that’s why our search engine optimization services are so popular! But a little keyword research goes a long way when it comes to uncovering the subjects your ideal customers most want to read.

Start by brainstorming a list of keywords you want to rank—these phrases are the foundation of your blog content strategy. You can also do additional research by:

  • Using Google’s Keyword Planner to research the top-ranking keywords in your niche.
  • Finding the most popular posts in your industry on BuzzSumo, and analyzing the topics.
  • Reviewing Twitter, Reddit, Quora and Amazon reviews to curate the most popular topics (and keywords) customers are curious about.

Once you’ve curated a list of 15-20 (or more!) keywords, start to brainstorm specific topics based on those keywords. Write down anything that comes to mind—right now, no blog post topic is a bad one.

Then comb through your list of ideas and highlight your favorites. Now you’ve curated content topics that speak to exactly what your audience seeks.

Create a Comprehensive Calendar

You likely use calendars to keep track of important dates, milestones, meetings and reminders in your personal and professional life—that tracking is integral to content planning, too!

Your blog content calendar will map out your posts, giving you a macro view of what is scheduled to go live and when. You can also plan for the individual steps that need to be taken to create each piece of content and add in deadlines accordingly.

Calendars are a helpful way to keep yourself and your team on schedule, and to avoid the stress of figuring out what to post at the last-minute! Calendars are also helpful for coming up with blog post ideas—when you see that a specific holiday or company product launch is coming up, you can create content that incorporates those updates.

From a free Excel spreadsheet to a premium platform like CoSchedule, there are a lot of resources to help you create and maintain an effective content calendar. Figure out what works best for your business and your budget, then add your blog post topics and content deadlines—on a schedule that is realistic for you—to the calendar.

Check and update your blog content calendar regularly to keep your posts on schedule, consistent and up-to-date!

Find the Right Writers

The size of your blog content team depends on the size of your business. If you’re a party of one, then you may be in charge of writing every blog post. (And we’ve got writing tips, if you need them.) Or maybe not! Everyone from solopreneurs to Fortune 500 corporations have access to freelance or full-time writers who can support your blog content strategy.

Whether you’re doing all of the writing yourself or you’ve hired writers and formed a content team, make sure you find the right writers for your blog. The best writers for your blog posts could vary based on your content voice, your brand message, your budget and more—before you start hiring, you may want to get clear on those points.

Just keep in mind that you’re not blogging just to blog. You have a very specific audience in mind—with the very specific goal of converting them into paying customers. Be particular about your writers and your content, ensuring that you’re providing a high-quality experience for your readers at every turn.

Provide Value In Every Post

The purpose of blogging for your business is to provide value to your audience: consistent, free value that highlights your expertise, your brand personality and your consideration for your customers—in other words, for the people reading your posts!

We do that here at Roaring Pajamas, too: We recently posted about our favorite dads on the Internet for Father’s Day, but we didn’t want our post to be more fluffy holiday-themed content. We thought about how we could share some fun content, while simultaneously providing valuable online marketing tips to our audience.

Try to do the same with every piece of content you publish. Think back to when you first started doing your reader research—what are the questions your customers ask again and again? What problems do they have? Which solutions can you offer?

When you base every blog post on answering a question or solving a problem or filling a need, then you’ll be consistently providing value in your content. You’ll build awareness, you’ll build trust and you’ll likely convert a lot more readers into customers through your blog content.

Does your business have a blog? Share what you’ll add to your blog content strategy with us in the comments below!

The post How to Craft a Blog Content Strategy for Your Business appeared first on Roaring Pajamas.

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We’re known for sharing online marketing tips on the Roaring Pajamas blog—but in celebration of Father’s Day, today we’re doing something a little different. We’re sharing tips inspired by some of the best dads on the internet!

From motivational morning pep talks to fun photoshoots to hilariously sarcastic tweets, the web is filled with fathers who go above and beyond for their kids—and their internet communities. Today we acknowledge the wholesome entertainment they provide and the viral marketing insight businesses can take away from their presence.

Here are some of our favorite dads on the Internet—and the online marketing tips their success has inspired for us:

BatDad

Blake Wilson, otherwise known as “BatDad” is a father of four living in Roswell, Georgia. A few years back, Blake thought it would be fun to purchase a $10 Batman mask and film himself as “BatDad”—a gravelly-voiced paternal take on the fictional superhero, who gives advice to his kids and finds every opportunity to startle his wife. Blake was right; being BatDad was fun—and not just for him and his family! The BatDad videos first went viral on Vine, but the appeal has grown far beyond the now-defunct short-form video platform. BatDad now has millions of fans across every major social network and his own book!

Marketing Tip #1: Don’t be limited by a small budget! Consider the props you already have lying around the office that might be used in creative new ways in your content.

Kordale Lewis and Kaleb Anthony

In 2013, Atlanta, Georgia-based couple Kordale Lewis and Kaleb Anthony set up a joint Instagram account. Little did they know at the time that sweet snapshots of the two men and their family of four children would eventually garner them thousands of adoring fans, a lot of media attention and a modeling career! In 2014, the duo posted a photo of their “morning routine”, featuring both doting dads styling the hair of their young daughters. The post spread like wildfire, garnering 54,000 likes and 6,000 comments within days. Though the couple claims life hasn’t changed much for them after going viral, they have since booked a major fashion photo shoot that included the entire family.

Marketing Tip #2: Highlight diversity in your images. Representation matters and will connect with a wide array of customers.

Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds—yes, that Ryan Reynolds—is not only hilarious and talented as an actor, he’s got quite the take on fatherhood, too. He regularly shares his fatherly musings with his followers on Twitter, much to everyone’s delight. Not long after his first daughter was born in late 2014, Reynolds took to the social networking platform to share thoughts such as “Tip: It’s important parents take little ‘time outs’ for themselves too. Even if you feel pretty guilty when you return 14 years later.”, and “I’d walk through fire for my daughter. Well not FIRE, because it’s dangerous. But a super humid room. But not too humid, because my hair.” For obvious reasons, fans (including us!) love his irreverent, sarcastic take on fatherhood.

Marketing Tip #3: Don’t take yourself so seriously! Have fun with your social media content and your audience will too.

Ron Alston

We’d all be destined for greatness with pep talks from Ron Alston! The father became internet famous after sharing a video of his daily motivational speech with his young daughter, Aliya. “I am strong. I am smart. I work hard. I am beautiful,” Aliya repeats after her dad as she faces her own reflection in the mirror. Alongside the video, Alston also shared: “Starting off with positive affirmations can set a great tone for how your day unfolds. Learning this from an early age can be very beneficial in the esteem and confidence of a child.” We couldn’t agree more—and neither could the rest of the 17 million people who have viewed the video since.

Marketing Tip #4: Give your customers a glimpse behind-the-scenes—what daily routines keep you and your team productive and happy?

Jason Lee

Jason Lee is not only the father of two adorable little girls; he’s also an incredibly creative and talented photographer. Lee started taking photos of Kristin and Kayla to share with his mother when she was sick in the hospital, but the audience for his collection grew far bigger once he started sharing his shots on the internet. One photo shows his older daughter having “taped” her younger sister up on the wall. In another, the two girls are dressed up as Angry Birds from the titular game, with his youngest daughter appearing to be tossed in the air toward a pile of pigs. With clever ideas and a liberal use of photoshop, Lee created fun, fanciful worlds for his girls—and for the rest of the world.

Marketing Tip #5: Get creative and try something new! Try to think of unusual, out-of-the-box ways to look at the same thing—your product or service, in this case.

Dave Crosby

Dave and Claire Crosby are an adorable father-daughter duo. Dave has been singing the same lullaby to Claire every night since she was born and, one night in 2014, Claire surprised him by singing along word-for-word and hitting every pitch. After Dave posted a video singing a song from The Little Mermaid alongside his four-year-old daughter, the internet went crazy wracking up over 100 million views and eventually landing the singing pair on The Ellen Show—twice! Dave and Claire have continued to give the fans what they want, singing and sharing more songs from Toy Story, Moana, Tarzan and Tangled, amongst others.

Marketing Tip #6: Collaborate with non-competitive businesses or influencers who share your audience, and also want to share the spotlight.

What online marketing tips will you take away from our favorite dads on the internet? Share your biggest insight—or favorite Internet-famous father!—with us in the comments below.

The post 6 Online Marketing Tips From Some of the Best Dads on the Internet appeared first on Roaring Pajamas.

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Have you ever wondered how to optimize your site design? If you haven’t, that’s okay. Most businesses don’t—and most website designers don’t either. While most website designers know how to do their job well . . . they don’t always get SEO.

This is a problem we’ve encountered on Roaring Pajamas client projects time and again. Too many businesses come to SEO consultants (like us) after their site has been designed. They understandably assume that they can learn how to optimize their site design later, when their copy is being written. That’s a fair assumption—but I’m here to dispel that notion.

SEO is an important consideration as early as the design stage. In an expert feature on Bay Business Help, I shared why website design and SEO don’t always work well together. The recommendations from a website designer are still often at odds with those of an SEO expert:

  • A designer might tell you to use more images than words; an SEO expert would recommend at least 350 words of text.
  • A designer would suggest one services page; an SEO expert would counter that each service page should be separate (and optimized).
  • A designer wants to create a “clean” design; an SEO expert knows you should have the content and tags necessary to optimize your site from the start.

This doesn’t make designers wrong, per se—they are just experts at their craft; a craft that doesn’t often include SEO best practices. That’s why you should consider and incorporate SEO at the very beginning of your site design or redesign. You’ll save yourself a lot of money and headaches—and garner a lot more qualified leads in the process.

Read more about the conflict between website design and SEO best practices—and how you can optimize your site design—so you can work to avoid that conflict from the start.

The post How to Optimize Your Site Design With SEO appeared first on Roaring Pajamas.

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