You find (or create) the perfect image… you upload it to Facebook… you write the perfecttext to go along with it… and boom!, you publish it on your page.
Sometimes it’s instant. Sometimes it’s hours later. But somewhere along the line, you spot the typo. Or you realize you forgot the link you intended to add.
But it’s too late. The post already has “Likes” or “Comments.” You can’t take it down because you don’t want to lose the engagement you’ve gained. What to do?!
Good news: you can edit the text you wrote when you posted your image.
So far… this only works for image posts. If you uploaded an image at the time you created the post, this is available to you. (If you only wrote text, you’re out of luck for now.)
Step 1: Locate the Image on Your Page’s Timeline
Visit your page, find the image, and click on it… like this:
Step 2: When Viewing the Image in “Theater” Mode, Click the “Edit” Button
You’ll find it here:
Step 3: Click in the Text Box and Edit Away
You’ll see that the description text becomes editable, like this:
This box is a little tricky. If you have multiple lines of text, it’s hard to “scroll” inside the box, so I recommend that you click once to put your cursor in the box and then use your arrow keys to navigate around.
Once you’ve made the changes you wanted to make, click the “Done Editing” box… and voila!… your changes are made!
Ever since Google announced the “Hummingbird” update on its 15th birthday, the web marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) community has been all aflutter (pardon the pun) with speculation about what this massive overhaul to Google’s search engine really means.
As with Panda, Penguin and the other changes to Google’s algorithms over the last few years, my recommendation to our clients and those who we’ve trained in our small business marketing training courses is to carry on as before.
Why would I recommend doing what you’ve been doing?
Because if you’ve been part of our training, you’ve had a very simple philosophy when it comes to search engine rankings:
Create Fresh, Original Content on a Regular Basis
By writing new articles (specifically: blog posts using WordPress) and publishing them to your website (or perhaps a blog site separate from your main website), you create the one thing Google needs most in order to evaluate your site: text.
Let’s not forget that at the end of the day, Google is a text machine.
Google and the other search engines devour text like a pack of lions on a fresh kill.
Write About the Problems Your Customers Have
A common thread running throughout our content strategies is that people have (historically) run Google searches based upon the problems they have rather than the solutions. There are many exceptions to this “rule,” and search has been changing dramatically in the last few years (more on this in a moment), but overall it’s a fairly safe bet that people will try to use Google to solve their problems.
The great thing about writing about your customers’ problems is that it gives you an excuse to write about the solutions you provide. Writing about solutions serves the business objective behind this whole idea, of course, but in fact is secondary to the main point.
The main point is to provide value to future customers (and maybe existing ones, too!) via this content.
Write About the Questions Your Customers & Prospects Ask
Every business has this. You may or may not have documented it in a training manual, but your business answers a certain set of questions all the time. Your new employees have to learn these answers to become fully effective, and perhaps the list evolves frequently, but nevertheless there is a set of FAQs.
Of course many websites include a section just for FAQs, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m actually talking about taking each question, writing it out, and producing a blog post just to answer it.
A great example that’s fresh on my mind involves how to get rid of love bugs, which became the substance of two separate blog posts for our client, Good News Pest Solutions. If you don’t live in Florida (or another southern state as far away as Texas), you may have no clue what a nuisance these little critters can be… for about one month twice each year (usually in May and September). If you haven’t dealt with them, then you get to miss out on the pile-up on your vehicle, the damage to its paint job, and the swarming around your house. Overall, they’re fairly harmless critters (they don’t bite), but they’re a major annoyance.
Now… the pest control company in Sarasota, Florida that published these posts doesn’t actually treat for love bugs per se, but they are the leader in dealing with pest problems of all kinds that Florida residents face. So… while the love bugs post may not have directly related to their business, it did directly relate to a problem that their customers (and future customers!) face twice each year. So the content delivered value without being directly self-serving.
The beauty is that content like this attracted a huge bump in traffic to the company’s website. Doubtless, many of these visitors were even outside the service area for this regional company. However, for those visitors who came to their website from within the service area, this post scored major points for the company in terms of brand equity, building trust and credibility, and demonstrating their overall high-quality service approach to business.
And… the content was great for social media sharing. It also perpetuated a hard-won “reputation” with Google for the kind of original, high-quality content that we’re talking about here.
Even more importantly: it’s great for Hummingbird.
Hummingbird is About Questions
At the risk of oversimplifying, Google’s new Hummingbird update is about answering questions for Google’s customers: the people who run searches.
In a way, this overhaul of Google’s search engine is focused on delivering better value to searchers based upon the major ways that mobile devices have changed how we search. Today, we “ask Siri” or use Google’s “voice search” features that are baked in to Android devices. We ask Google’s search engine for directions, we look for what’s nearby, and we ask Google to define words and provide all sorts of random information.
Because of voice interaction which has been made so easy by our mobile devices, Google’s search query box is more often filled with a conversational question than ever before. Google speaks of its response to this trend in terms of what it calls the “knowledge graph.”
But if you’ve been following our recommendations all this time, then chances are your site is performing very well with Hummingbird, because your content is now part of the knowledge graph.
So… carry on.
Keep creating fresh, original content. Keep writing about your customers’ problems (even ones you may not solve). Keep answering their questions. Keep delivering value. This is exactly the sort of text Google is looking for so it can deliver great value to its searchers.
For the last 2 years or so, we’ve been pounding the drum to anyone who will listen—which mainly means small businesses we train, our clients, and audiences I speak to—that you must be ready for mobile visitors.
How can your small business website be ready for mobile visitors?
Two words: responsive design.
Your website should be responsive.
What Is Responsive Design?
Very simply: the “look & feel” of your website is built in such a way that it automatically accommodates different browsers.
Certainly, I’m talking about desktop browsers like Chrome, Firefox and (God forbid!) Internet Explorer. But more importantly, we’re talking about the browsers that come with mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, and Android phones & tablets.
With a responsive design, your site will look good (or at least be usable) no matter what mobile device a visitor might be using when they access your site. Also, the site should automatically adjust when the orientation of the device changes (think about when you rotate your phone or tablet).
But People Don’t Visit My Site from Mobile Devices!
It’s not uncommon for a small business owner to throw this objection our way. I can’t tell you how many small business owners are convinced that somehow their website is different!
Our users are technical!
Buyers of our products sit at their desks all day long!
Our clients haven’t purchased iPads!
I’ve heard it all. But the data says something completely different!
Think about this: there are 1.2 billion people accessing the web from mobile devices. (Folks: that’s more than are using Facebook!)
Neil Patel from QuickSprout compiled some relevant tidbits about mobile device usage and assembled them into a nice infographic (see below). I will warn you that much of this is geared toward shopping from mobile devices, which may or may not be relevant to your particular small business website. Regardless: your visitors are coming from iPhones, iPads, Android phones and… yes… even Android tablets.
And if you haven’t already done so, now is the time to deploy a responsive design on your website.
Responsive Sites on WordPress: Inexpensive & Relatively Simple
Now… for those who have been following our advice, you’ve heard from me since 2006 that you should be using WordPress for your small business website. And if for any reason that isn’t possible, you should use it for your small business blog.
But we’ve also spent a considerable amount of effort in the last 2 years converting e-commerce sites over to use WordPress as well.
Why bring WordPress up? Well… it’s simple: if you use WordPress, there’s no excuse for you to not have a responsive site. Responsive WordPress themes abound!
Converting your WordPress site over from an older desktop-focused theme to a responsive one is one of the least expensive modifications you’ll make. And the low cost and relative ease of the process will remind you about why you went with WordPress to begin with!
Now get to it! Convert your site to a responsive design today!
There’s an enormous caveat to what I’m about to tell you. In the work we’re doing with clients for whom we manage social media, as well as in the training we do for business owners and their teams to manage their own social media, there’s one fact that we emphasize constantly:
In social media, the level of engagement is far more important than the number of fans or followers.
That said, a recent research study by Syncapse and Hostpex places an average value of $174 for each Facebook “fan” a business gathers. (Note: although term “fan” is outdated jargon in the world of Facebook, it’s being used as shorthand for “someone who has liked your page” here.)
How do they arrive at this number, you ask?
Value of a Facebook Fan in 2013 Source: Syncapse
Well, the $174 figure is an average across a number of different brands and industries, and it’s calculated based upon a number of comparisons between fans and non-fans (those who have not liked a business’s Facebook page). After looking at spending, loyalty, likelihood that they would recommend the brand, satisfaction levels, acquisition cost and “affinity,” the research determined and placed a value on fans for each brand compared in the study.
It’s worth checking out the study itself (download it here) to review the metrics and get some idea about where your business would compare based upon the value of a fan for the brand/industry that most closely matches yours.
Regardless of where you land in terms of the value you place on each person who has “liked” your Facebook page, the most important takeaway from this study is this: the research proves that when you communicate regularly via social media, you influence the opinions and behaviors of your prospects and customers.
The key, as I mentioned at the top of this post, is that you treat your social media marketing/outreach as a method of engaging with people rather than broadcasting or advertising to them.
From the very moment we began providing training to business owners and marketing executives to help them understand how search engines work, we have preached a very simple message:
Create content that delivers value to people in your target market. And do it often.
I’m constantly amused by the SEO (search engine optimization) industry—when not infuriated by stories of ripoffs, that is. Everyone was in an uproar when Google’s Panda update came on the scene. When Penguin arrived, it was another round of insanity as SEO firms and marketing consultants began realizing that many of the gimmicky tricks they had used to artificially boost clients’ search rankings began to fall off. And then there’s the endless speculation about which black and white animal Google will name their next update after… <sigh>.
Ironically, nobody who was following our training was negatively affected by Google’s algorithm changes. Quite the opposite, many of our clients found themselves inexplicably rising in rankings for keywords they hadn’t targeted (more on that in a moment) and receiving even more traffic!
And while keywords and keyword research are important, our clients and students have always heard from me that keyword research is only the beginning of your effort. You will never imagine all the keywords that people will use to find your content, but if you create valuable content in a conversational style, you will accidentally use more of the terms that people will search on than you could ever do on purpose.
Our clients and students get some valuable coaching from us that helps them accomplish this, of course, but the foundation of the strategy is disarmingly simple.
As social media has become more and more important, we’ve gained all sorts of new metrics about what content is and isn’t valuable to our audiences. But aside from making adjustments based upon that new feedback loop, the advent of social media has only served to prove the merits of our strategy.
Meanwhile, SEO experts all over the world are discovering that they must now scramble to figure out how to deliver value and engage audience members since Google’s ability to measure those factors has improved. Today, I spotted a beautiful infographic put together by Fuzz One: The New Face of SEO: How SEO Has Changed. If you’ve been through our training, you’ll be amused as I was at how much energy they’re now recommending everyone to put into delivering value. Enjoy!
The bottom line? While “SEO experts” scramble to adapt… everyone who has been delivering value by creating unique content that’s targeted to their desired audience can rest assured that your efforts will continue to be rewarded.
Need better performance from your marketing? Contact us to learn more about our strategic marketing assessment.
Seth Godin’s post from today reinforces yet again the need for you to strategically and intentionally design your business’s “message”:
If your elevator pitch is a hyper-compressed two-minute overview of your hopes, dreams and the thing you’ve been building for the last three years, you’re doing everyone a disservice. I’ll never be able to see the future through your eyes this quickly, and worse, if you’ve told me what I need to know to be able to easily say no, I’ll say no.
As usual, he manages to say an enormous amount in just a few sentences. And although the Girl Scouts may disagree, the bottom line from Seth is:
“No one ever bought anything on an elevator.”
What are you trying to accomplish with your message?
Have you changed the copyright notice at the bottom of your website? Now’s the time to do it! After all… nothing says, “we aren’t paying attention” like last year’s date (or worse: an even earlier year!) being displayed on a website through mid-June (or whenever it is we happen to catch it).
So… in addition to all the other calendar-changing exercises — remembering to write 2012 on your checks, ditching last year’s desk blotter, swapping the wall calendar, etc — make sure you check out your websites. And no fair looking at ours… we haven’t finished getting to them all yet! (What do you think reminded me to write this?!)
Also… if you have multiple Content Management Systems (CMSs), don’t forget to look at those. Check your shopping cart, blog, membership website, etc. to see if they have their own footers.
How to Always Have a Current Copyright Notice on Your WordPress Site
If you’re running WordPress, your footer content is controlled by your theme. Some theme designers provide a place in an “Options” panel for you to manually update the text displayed in your footer and/or copyright notice. That’s nice & handy, but you still have to remember to fix it.
Here’s a quick & dirty way to “set it and forget it” so you don’t have to remember to check again next year at this time.
Go to Appearance » Editor from the left-hand menus in your WordPress admin
Find the file that controls your footer in the list of files on the right-hand side of your screen. 99% of the time it will be a file called footer.php (if not, check your theme’s support site)
Click on the file’s name to open it in the editor.
Do yourself a favor: highlight the entire file and copy/paste it into a text editor (think Notepad here, not Word). This gives you a backup of the code in case you bump something and break it.
Find the code that outputs your copyright notice. It should be easy to recognize. Here’s a hint: the HTML code for the copyright symbol is usually displayed like this: &
Obviously, you can adjust as needed. The code I showed above is the actual code we’re using on our Nourish The Dream site, which we founded in 2006. You may want to use a different date structure, but that PHP code is what causes your theme to always show the current year (assuming your web hosting provider has the server configured correctly!)
Convert Your Facebook "Profile" into a "Page for Your Business
Almost every time I speak to an audience of business owners, there’s at least one in the crowd. Someone (or their nephew) created a Facebook “profile” for their business instead of a business “page.”
What’s the difference?
A Facebook “Profile” (soon to be called a “timeline”) has a first and last name, and can send and receive “Friend” requests.
A Facebook “Page” (formerly called a “fan page”) has a business (or organization) name, and other Facebook users can “Like” it.
We’ve all seen it… you log into Facebook and you have a friend request from someone whose first name is “Bob’s” and whose last name is “AutoRepair.” Maybe you did it… you have a personal Facebook account and you’re trying to use it for business purposes.
Well… if that’s you, I’ve got some good news for you. You can migrate your Facebook “profile” into a business “page” and successfully maintain all those relationships you’ve built. We’ll talk about how in a sec… but first…
Why Should I Migrate My Facebook “Profile” into a “Page?”
First, you should only do this if you have a Facebook “profile” (see above) that is really & truly for a business or organization (or public figure — more on that later) rather than for an individual.
But you should do it if that’s the case… and you should do it immediately! Why? Because Facebook will delete the account without warning. It is a violation of the Facebook Terms. And Facebook isn’t obligated to give you any advance notice… when they discover the account (and they will) or it gets reported (think competitors here), it’s all over. All those relationships you built… all the hours you spent sending and responding to friend requests… all the time you’ve spent adding links, posting photos, sharing content, writing notes, commenting on others’ posts, etc… all gone.
To my knowledge, no one has ever successfully appealed the deletion of a Facebook account. You simply get to start over… from scratch.
Now… just because you’ve gotten away with it for a while doesn’t mean anything. Most of the business owners I run into stumbled into this situation quite by accident or without knowledge. And so you may not have realized you were violating the terms (you did read those, right?). And so many businesses got away with this for so long that they felt no need to do anything about it when they discovered the problem. But Facebook has been improving their detection tools, and their ability to discover fraudulent “profiles” has improved dramatically.
Here’s the Good News
Previously, your only option was to create a Facebook “page” for your business, and then invite the “friends” of your “profile” to “become a fan” or “like” the new page. This was time-consuming, tedious, and not always very successful. Some people would “like” the new page right away… others would be confused… it was bad.
Now, however, Facebook has a migration tool to convert your “profile” into a “page.” This is great news for any businesses who want to keep all the relationships they’ve built. But there are some potential “gotchas” along the way (in other words… read everything here before you proceed!!) First, here’s how it works:
You follow the link to the migration tool, which works almost identically to the “Create a Page” function. This means you need to choose what type of page you’re creating, complete all the necessary details, etc.
Facebook migrates your “profile photo” and all your “friends” to the new page. The “friends” become people who have “liked” your new page.
Your “profile” and all its other content (past posts, messages, admin privileges for other pages and groups, etc.) gets deleted permanently.
You continue to login to Facebook with the same email address and password.
Important Steps to Take Before You Migrate
Obviously, you’ll want to proceed with caution. While it’s great news that you get to keep those “friends” (as “likes”), you don’t want to accidentally lock yourself out of other pages or otherwise lose important stuff related to your Facebook account.
So… do this first:
Set up a new Facebook “profile” (if you don’t already have one) for yourself personally. If you already have one, make sure you can successfully log in to it!
Add your new/other Facebook “profile” as an admin on any Facebook “pages” or “groups” that you have either created or have admin privileges for. If you don’t do this, you will permanently lose access to these pages and/or groups!
Download a file from Facebook containing all the information from the “profile” you are migrating to a “page.” This way, all your old messages and any other content you’ve uploaded, shared or otherwise created on Facebook will be backed up to your computer before it gets permanently deleted from Facebook.
Once you’ve done the above, then you begin the migration process with the Facebook migration tool. Proceed with caution: Facebook has an “appeal” process for people who perform this step accidentally and then wish to reverse it. But I wouldn’t bank on that actually working.
For Public Figures: Authors, Speakers, TV Personalities, etc.
Building a Large Following Associated with your Personal Name? Create a Public Figure Page on Facebook.
Occasionally when I speak about social media strategies for business, we have someone in the audience who has hit the 5,000 “friend” limit on Facebook. We also occasionally do consulting for authors, speakers, television personalities and others who have large followings who have had this happen or are well on their way.
If you intend to gain a large following associated with your personal name, you should consider creating a “Public Figure” Facebook page. A few important reasons why:
This allows you to maintain a “private” personal Facebook profile with a smaller number of “friends” with whom you can share personally, interact, etc., while maintaining a distinct persona from the “public-facing” version of your social media self.
You will not hit the 5,000 “friend” maximum. Brands on Facebook are carrying tens of millions of “likes” without being capped. This means you can keep growing your following without limitations.
Facebook actually becomes more useful and meaningful when it isn’t cluttered with posts from people you don’t really know very well.
If you do maintain both, there’s no reason why you can’t use both to promote your new stuff… but just keep in mind some people will choose to “unfriend” or “unlike” one version or the other of you on Facebook (maybe both) if they’re seeing too much content from you. This is normal. But of course… if you’re delivering great value on Facebook, this won’t be concern!
Want to learn more? We’ve created the Ultimate Small Business Growth Kit to help equip business people like you with winning strategies for growing your business in the 21st Century. Check it out today!
Today is National Coffee Day. I still haven’t figured out whose idea that was, but hey… I’m all for celebrating! Especially the beverage that I spend so much of my time with, and even attribute some of my business success to!
Why do I attribute some of my business success to it, you ask? Well… aside from keeping me awake so I can be productive, I frequently use an example from Starbucks when speaking to audiences and training small business leaders to get better results from their marketing.
With the Starbucks example, we are essentially trying to help business owners and those responsible for their marketing to understand this: people aren’t buying what you think you’re selling. Starbucks roasts coffee beans purchased from growers all over the world and sells them primarily by making drinks out of them in their local retail stores. What business is Starbucks in?
c. Legal Addictive Stimulants
Obviously, if Starbucks answered “A: Coffee” then they would probably have to sell for the lowest price possible. They would compete against anyone and everyone selling coffee. But Starbucks is most famously selling something more. There’s a full discussion of that over here.
Let’s Get to the Free Stuff
That illustration on coffee has helped a lot of business leaders grapple with and ultimately answer the question, “What are you really selling?” And when they realize that they’re selling something different than what their marketing has historically focused on, they realize they need help. That’s what has been great for me because that’s when they realize they need training on how to reach out and get new customers in the 21st Century.
That’s where the free stuff comes in. We’re launching a brand new training course that will begin next week. It’s called “The Secrets of Search Engine Rankings for CEOs, Owners & Executives.” If you’ve ever wondered why your business does or doesn’t show up at the top of page 1 in the Google search results, then this training is for you.
Here are some of the questions we’ll be answering:
How does Google decide which websites to show on top of page 1?
How can I find my website’s position if it’s not readily visible on a particular search?
Do I really have to pay someone to be on top of the search engines or can we get there ourselves?
What can I do to make sure that my site is moving up?
How can I make sure I’m not getting ripped off with Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) services?
This training will happen over the course of 3 LIVE webinars. Each will last approximately 1 hour. Here’s the deal: we will be recording this to produce a brand new product that will sell for $97.
I’d like to give you the opportunity to be in on this product absolutely free. Here’s how it works: anyone who purchases our Ultimate Small Business Growth Kit by Friday at 5pm Eastern will automatically be registered to attend the 3 live training sessions absolutely free! This is a priceless bonus! By attending some (or all) of the webinars live, you’ll have the opportunity to get your questions answered live during the training. People who only catch the recordings after the fact will obviously not be able to do that. So this a huge added value!
What Others Are Saying About “The Ultimate Small Business Growth Kit”
From December, 2010: “A quick note to let you know how valuable your training has been to me! It has already helped me identify several key areas that need my attention to cause my business to flourish like I want it to. I am nowhere near finished the training but I have already identified and implemented some of the ‘techniques,’ as I interact with my customers. The results have been phenomenal! I have already made my money back with the orders I have captured as a result of your training.” (emphasis added)
From March, 2011: “I wanted to thank you again for the services you provide through Epiphany. I have moved up to the first page of the Google search engine in as little as 3 months! One month ago I secured a $40,000+ contract with a vending manufacturer who found my company on Google. I was also recently contacted by another manufacturer who wants to send us all of his business … and yes he found us on the front page of Google. Don’t stop what you are doing. You are truly a blessing to the business community!” (emphasis added)
Sonya L. Thompson
First Choice Locators & Vending SVC LLC
I look forward to “seeing” you on next week’s training webinars! Be sure to purchase by tomorrow (Friday, September 30th) at 5pm Eastern in order to get in on “The Secrets of Search Engine Rankings for CEOs, Owners & Executives” absolutely free!