Author: Bonnie Harris

 Ayushman Jain is a 20-something IBM engineer and writer from Bangalore.  No idea why he agreed to write for the Wax blog but we appreciate his insider info on SEO and other propeller-head stuff So you've laid the foundations of a social business successfully by creating a neat, slick website? What next? You'll probably want to make sure your website looks like a  rush hour street in downtown Manhattan (read traffic). Most people know that search engine optimization (SEO) techniques help in achieving just that. But not many know that their techniques are quite dumb and actually pulling their website down on the rankings. Read on to find out just how you could be killing your website's chances of being a search engine's chum:

By Beth Graddon-Hodgson Although the Google Panda update has been responsible for the decline in ranking success for many sites – in some cases,  for justified reasons – it has helped reinforce a number of important concepts that apply to blogging. What Google has been so kind to reinforce is  a number of concepts that we’ve discussed before on this blog. But considering there’s now more demand to put the related strategies for use, it is worth revisiting. Whether you’re just starting a blog or already have one setup, there are some things you should implement now.  Panda reminds us of the power of these simple strategies:

Occasionally I’ve gone outside the boundaries of this blog and talked about management, not just pr and marketing. Since those posts always seem to get a ton of attention, I’ve decided to take the liberty of tossing in a few more for a  “management monday” post here and there. After last week’s jobs report it may seen odd to start with interviewing tips. But despite the report, many of my small business clients ARE hiring again (and I think we’ll see that reflected in the numbers later this summer). So if you’re rusty on interviewing after a couple years of working just to keep the ship afloat, small business blogger Clair Schwan offers up some great advice! By Clair Schwan Let’s look at some useful tips on interviewing prospective employees. More specifically, let’s look at how to make the best use of your time before interviews even start. Interviewing potential employees is time-consuming, and picking good employees is essential, so we need to make effective use of our time to ensure best results from this important effort. If we screen our prospects, we’re likely to make better decisions in less time. And, the time we save can be invested in the finalists we choose to interview.

Beth and I are always talking about the need to provide variety on your website to really engage your readers.  Much as I hate to say it, cereal companies tend to do a good job of engaging kids through games, sound, video and other media that really grabs their attention. One industry we can all learn from is the financial services industry. Perhaps it's because they're often viewed as the most "boring" industry - they need interactive websites that will not only engage, but also inform the visitor.  I don't know exactly what a surety bond is, but when I was sent the SuretyBonds.com site by an online marketer I realized this was a perfect example for us to review here. Weigh in...tell me what you do and don't like about the site. Here are my two cents:

Whenever I meet with new clients they want to know how we're going to use PR to reach their clients. Imagine their expression when I tell them we're not going to message your clients. I tell these shocked folk in most cases, public relations does not translate to direct sales.  If they want to sell directly to their clients, go buy ads. If they haven't kicked me out at this point, a client will usually ask (in a sarcastic tone that increases in direct proportion  to the size of his or her company/wallet) "So why should we pay you all this money?" First of all let's deal with the fact that most of us only see the really big public relations bonanzas. For someone who hasn't worked with PR a lot, or who has had a bad experience with PR, that's your point of familiarity. The first thing that needs to happen is that expectations need to be reset. Sure, there is the occasional huge hit that turns a lesser-known product into an overnight seller. Oprah's book club was a great example. But those are very few and far between. If you get them, and then the more important caveat if they work, you win the public relations lottery. We always try but it very rarely happens. So what's the answer to my clients' question?

[caption id="attachment_3297" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Sire, methinks you need more links. "][/caption] Google Panda has made it even more essential that you use high-quality links in your blog posts - and all of your web content for that matter. But you have to know what constitutes a ‘high quality link’. Some may have more rigid ideas about what this means, but I think there is some room for interpretation. Too many low quality links can hurt you in the long run. Here are three good suggestions for finding links that add value to your blog or site: 1) Leading sources – government sources, top industry blogs etc are the ones that Google considers the most reputable. These sites do offer a way to put some quantitative research into an article that you’re writing, so they’re good for more than simply ranking benefits.

Simply sending out regular, interesting tweets that your target market might find useful or informative is a good first step, but in order to get the best out of Twitter it's worth actively searching for relevant users and content rather than sitting back and waiting for it to come to you. Increasingly, sites like Twitter and Facebook are used for finding services. Sure, you could trust Google to find a mechanic nearby, but most of us would prefer a recommendation from a real person. Either we ask friends, family members, and colleagues if they know a good one or we turn to social media. Tweeting 'Anyone know a good cheap mechanic in San Diego?' is the work of a moment or two. Monitoring Twitter traffic for queries relevant to your field and location is very easy. Tools like Monitter.com and TweetBeep can be set up to watch for them. A smart San Diego mechanic would get an email alerting them to an opportunity and if they're quick, they could pick up a valuable new customer with a simple, helpful reply. Industry-specific monitoring is also a great way to find sources of useful information and news that's relevant to your company. Other Twitter monitoring tools can help a small business figure out the effectiveness of their engagement. 

It happened. My digital footprint just kicked me in the badunkadunk. First of all, let's clear this up - I was never a WAITRESS at Hooters but I did write for the magazine for a few years. It was a fun gig - I had rodeo clowns flying over my head at the national PBR championships, I interviewed the WWF tag team champions and I even got to see the finals of the UFC. But a client just turned me down for an engagement because I didn't have an "appropriate" list of clients for them. For most people  my fun freelancing days with Hooters Magazine are an interesting anecdote. For these guys apparently not. So this is where we ask the question...how much should we try to control our digital footprint?