BlitzLocal Blog | Sharing online marketing tips and tricks

This handy tool uses Facebook’s authentication to download information about your personal Facebook usage. This is NOT the same as analytics for Facebook pages. But it does use the same permission requests you’d need to play Farmville or a related game.
For those non-geeks out there, the Wolfram Alpha search engine does computation. Put in math problems or ask the GDP of France in a Google-esque search box.
Go check it out and watch it lay bare who your friends are, when you’re online most often, and what things you talk about most.
Type in “Facebook report”.
Click “Analyze My Facebook Data”. Click “Allow” when the app requests permission.
Enter your information when prompted.
Click “Analyze My Facebook Data Now”.
Allow some time to gather data.
At the top, it shows your basic information on a slightly deeper level.
Your posts are broken down by time period, amount, and type.
Then they are broken down into immense detail.
Statistics about your friends’ interactions with your posts are shown, as well as what your top posts are.
Detailed check-in and app activity are also displayed.
You even get a time breakdown based on what you use to access Facebook.
Information on photos and tagging are all displayed.
Your friends are displayed by their gender, relationship status, age, location, and more.
You also see a visual interpretation of your network, color-coated based on occupation, school, local area, etc.
When Google’s Panda update started targeting on-page optimization that were considered low-value—with special focus on duplicate content and outbound links that appeared to be spam—it caused quite a controversy. Now, the most recent Penguin update, which targets primarily inbound links and links that are particularly identified as unnatural, controversy has once again arisen. Many businesses on are now seeing their traffic, search engine rankings, and even a significant amount of income drop with amazing speed. And just like what happened with the Panda, many are complaining that they’re being targeted unfairly.
The problem with many of those who complain is that they really have no clear idea what the term “ethical SEO practices” mean or what they constitute. This is particularly true of small businesses; this is why many people think they’re being unfairly targeted by Google’s updates—they don’t think they’re doing anything wrong. Take the case of an online business that has derived its ranking from the start by using tactics such as article spinning, using inbound links from networks, and buying links: for years the business owner may have used these tactics without realizing that they go against the primary mission of Google, which is to provide its users with only the most relevant search results. One of the reasons for the business owner’s failure to realize this fact is that his online business may have been doing quite well until the Penguin update. Also many businesses underestimate the importance of hiring a white hat SEO company to handle their accounts properly and in the end they got what they paid for.
The fact that you continued to enjoy good rankings, good traffic, and good sales even after the Panda update was launched doesn’t necessarily mean you can just relax and expect to be saved from the Penguin update as well. After all, the very reason why these updates are launched in the first place is for Google to be able to provide their users with the best answers to their queries. Imagine yourself being the one searching for something on the Internet. You wouldn’t want to do a Google search only to be victimized by the manipulative use of SEO services, would you? The best way for site owners to ensure good rankings regardless of what updates Google comes up with, therefore, is to make sure they follow only ethical SEO practices.
The problem lies in the fact that not all webmasters are SEO professionals. This means your webmaster may not really know how much is too much where search engine optimization is concerned. Even if you read Google’s updates and guidelines, they still wouldn’t do you much good if you don’t know the basic rules in the first place. That’ll be like cooking with a list of ingredients, but no cooking instructions. Making even the slightest mistake could ruin the entire recipe. To further aggravate the situation, search engine algorithms are so mercurial that what works today may not necessarily work three months from now. This is why it’s very important for you to keep up with the latest algorithm changes.
To make it easier for you to deal with the Google Penguin and any other further updates, here are three important things the Penguin should have taught you by now:
1. Diversity and balance are the key
The reason why Google’s Penguin update focuses on penalizing “spammy” sites is that Google wants to improve SERP quality for the benefit of searchers. If you want to get on top of search results pages, therefore, you either have to buy an AdWords spot there or come up with exceptionally good content for organic rankings. More importantly, you’ll have to forget about shady SEO tactics. Remember that saturating your title tags with keywords, using low-quality back links, and unnatural inter-links are the top targets of the Google Penguin. You should also learn how to mix up the types of content on your site. You can learn more about balancing your page look and feel with content, here.
In this image, the Biltmore website was able to achieve balance by distributing content evenly in blocks. Well chosen illustrations also added dimension to break the monotony of the site. –
2. Strive to be as Pertinent as Possible to Your Audience
As long as you remain relevant to your target audience, you’ll always be safe from the pummeling these Google updates give errant sites. Take note that Google has recently introduced the Knowledge Graph, which is expected to hugely change the SEO game. Google is changing the way online search is processed; instead of depending heavily on keywords, search results are becoming more and more dependent on concepts that are relevant relative to each other. This means searches are moving away from its dependence on disjointed keywords. What this means for site owners is that the quality of their outbound and inbound links will now be measured according to their relevance and usefulness as well as the importance of the information in relation to the user’s query. This makes it even more important for you to develop connections and authority in your chosen niche. If you haven’t already started, then now is definitely the best time for you to start community building, particularly since community members are usually the best sources for natural links. Community building is also an excellent tool for customer retention.
3. Provide Useful Content
Since you now know that your main focus needs to shift from shady SEO tactics to building your credibility, your target audience’s trust, and your authority in your niche, then you need to understand that the best way to achieve this purpose is for you to keep things real. This might mean overhauling your entire site content. What’s important is for you to start focusing on creating better content, especially in on-page and guest posts. To put it simply, you have to keep your site content clean, clear, and useful.
There is a way for you to avoid getting pummeled by the Penguin and even if you’ve already been hurt, you can still bounce back. The secret is in taking a close look at your site to identify what could have gone wrong and then making the necessary adjustments.
Top Mistakes to Avoid After Google Penguin
If your website has been heavily affected by the Penguin update, you may want to go all out on SEO. However, due to the update, some of the old tried and tested optimization tactics may not work as well as before.
If you are still doing the same things you have been doing before, then there are chances that you may be making some grave SEO mistakes, which may even drive down your rankings even more.
1) You Are Using the Same Anchor Text – Using the same anchor texts, like “click here” or “find out more” or “click the link” may not do well for your website rankings. However, using these kinds of keywords would make your anchor text profile look natural. Use your brand name in the anchor, as well as your domain name. The key here is to link as naturally as possible by using natural keywords, and avoiding being aggressive.
2) Spun Content – In the past, the more content out there, which linked back to your site, the better it was for your rankings. However, eventually, article directories became breeding grounds for poorly written articles, which were posted just for the sake of links, and we saw plenty of spun content, which absolutely made no sense. Spun content that do not make any sense and are posted for the sake of placing links will definitely get you penalized by Google.
Spun content is very common but is not helpful for your SEO success at all.
3) Over-Optimizing – Back in 2010 and 2011, over-optimizing was a very popular thing. People used keywords as many times as they could in a blog post or article. Today, however, over optimization does not give your site that boost and appeal to Google like it used to before. So, avoid forcing keywords in the first and last sentences when they look unnatural, and avoid unnecessarily underlining, italicizing, and bolding the keywords because these do not provide any added value to your site.
4) Spam Blogs – Using spam blogs can also be bad for your rankings. Spam blogs are basically blogs with poorly written content. Most posts for spam blogs usually do not have any sense, typically contain a wide range of disconnected topics, and are posted only to put links in them. Real blogs that want to rank in search engines need to have a clear focus and should have excellent content that people will take time to read.
5) Spam Commenting – Some people prowl popular niche blogs and post spam comments. However, this may not work at all. Spam comments include all comments which are placed to simply drop links and do not contribute to or provide any real value to the blog readers.
Some examples of blog spam comments. Image credit.
6) Ranking Using Only Popular and Paid Blog Networks – Plenty of sites which were dropped by Google Penguin used popular blog networks. Instead of using paid blog networks, you may want to use article marketing instead since this continues to be a solid method for site ranking.
7) Using Free Directories – Article directories used to be very popular a long time ago and they were the go-to places to find helpful information on the web. However, they became loaded with poor and uninformative content, which is why Google has forced them to take a backseat. Good directories categorize and classify effectively so people can find helpful information easily. However, there are free and poor directories which do not classify their content and also accept poorly written content. These will not help your site at all.
Aside from these mistakes, there is one thing that you should remember. Google dislikes spam. Keep this in mind regularly and remember that any practice that constitutes spamming or providing spam-like content to readers will definitely not be good in the eyes of search engines.
So, take at look at your current practices or the SEO services of your provider and determine if they are currently making any of these mistakes. If they are, then you should stop doing these and use more helpful and relevant SEO tactics instead.
Read Up and Keep Yourself Updated
The key to search engine success is to play by Google’s rules, which changes from time to time. So read up and update yourself about the newest Google updates because a good tactic today may be an SEO mistake tomorrow.
See you at the top!
Traian, the guest author of this article, is the Director of SEO and co-founder of Pitstop Media Inc, a Canadian company that provides top rated SEO services to businesses across North America. To invite the author to guest post on your blog too, please contact
We plotted out every team’s fan count, engagement rate (social metrics), win/loss record, average attendance, merchandise sales, and the population of the city the team plays in (real-world data), looking for correlations and patterns. Ultimately, the best metric was the ratio of average attendence to fan count, though looking at Merchandise sales and standings was also enlightening: The Yankees have the most fans by far (8,474,881). This is not surprising. They have the biggest city (pop. 8,175,133), the highest merchandise sales, and the third best record in the league (60.3%), and have been a consistenly winning team for generations.
The Nationals have the least fans (230,581), which is somewhat surprising, considering they have the fourth best record (58.5%) and a relatively big population (601,723, compared to say, St. Louis’ population of 319,294).
There is no significant difference in the frequency or quality of the posts made by the Yankees and the Nationals.
The teams with the best merchandise sales (New York and Boston) are also the two pages with the most fans, and have the best attendance-fans ratio (0.5 : 100 and 0.7 : 100, respectively; the average is 1 : 25).-With very few discrepencies, the top ten teams that sold the most merchandise correspond with the ten teams with most fans (I.e. NY is #1 in merch sales and in fans, etc.).-Teams with inflated fan counts (NY, Boston, SF, etc.) likely have many fans that don’t live where the team plays.
The ratio of Yankees fans to Mets fans (8,474,881 : 626,869) is far more extreme than the ratio of average attedance (41,570 : 27,458).Team pages do a good job of posting photos, questions, short messages, occasional contests, videos, etc. One possible area of improvement would be to focus more on posting before a game than only doing recap posts.The team with the highest engagement by far is the Dodgers, who have won 61.8% of their games this season. The teams with the next highest engagement rates, the Mets and the Angels, are not ranked as well this year (both currently at 53.6%).
There seems to be a stronger connection in the fact that two of the teams with the best engagement rates are the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels (37.2% and 26.8% respectively). The Mets have a 27.5% engagement rate, and it can be presumed that the Yankees’ highly inflated fan count leads to low engagement. Most of the teams with above-average engagements rates are among the larger cities in the league (LA, New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Fort Worth).
There are of course, large cities with poor engagement (Toronto or San Diego, for example), but the only real standout is the smallest city in the league, Pittsburgh, with a high engagement rate.of 27.7%, the 6th highest in the league.
The Dodgers are third in merchandise sales, but other high sellers have poor engagement rates such so that the metrics don’t correlate. Boston, number 2 in merch sales is third to last in fan engagement.
We compared attendance to population, and then compared that to engagement, but data did not correlate well.
There seems to be a difference between people who go to games and people who engage on Facebook. For instance, Atlanta is a small city (pop. 420,003, the 9th smallest in the league) with high average attendance (29,852, well over the league average), and yet the team’s page has an engagement rate of 11.21%- far from remarkable. Cincinnati is another example. They have a killer attendance-population ratio (27,163 : 296,943) and has the second worst engagement in the league- 1.62%.
If you’re a data monkey and would like to see the numbers for yourself, You can check it out here. You can also check out the technology we used to get these numbers and get your free trial over at
Credit unions tend to have fewer fans than large national banks making higher engagement rates easier to attain. 8 of the top 10 in terms of fan count are banks.
Chase: 3,364,793 fans, Capital One: 2,556,273 fans, American Express: 2,470,220 fans
These three banks account for about 85% of the market share
Since engagement percent is calculated with fan count in the denominator, smaller pages tend to have higher engagement.
YOUR Community Credit Union with 39.01%, while TDECU has 23.89%
Banks hold the top seven spots for highest Share of Voice (% of interactions across the industry).
Citi has 22.41% SOV, BOA has 16.8% SOV although it should be noted that BOA suffers from more negative sentiment than most other banks. Wells Fargo is at 15.92% after that there is a steep decline; American Express has 8.33% SOV.
Which is better: Fan count or engagement?
Catch 22. We want to raise both!
Use sponsored stories to:
Page Like Story: Build fan base
Page Post Ad: Push good content to friends of fans.
Most of these banks heavily rely on pictures and questions that encourage users to respond. Both banks and credit unions try to show that they support their local communities by giving away scholarships or sponsoring some charitable events or functions.
The biggest difference between banks and credit unions is the more socially successful credit unions generally offer far more incentives like giveaways and other promotional strategies that are then publicized on the wall for the whole community to see. Trips to Hawaii, $1,000 giveaways every day, etc, can be very powerful tools to foster community online.
Customer Relationship Management:
Complaints, even in financial institutions that are thriving in social media, are commonplace throughout the industry.
The faster a customer service representative responds to complaints, the better.
YOUR credit union has an average response time of 21.36 minutes
Usually complaints are responded to in the first hour. Otherwise others tend to jump in and express their dissatisfaction as well.
Credit unions need more fans and banks need more interactions. The credit unions need to use ads in tandem with their giveaways to attract more fans and more account holders. Banks should take a cue from credit unions and offer better incentives for participation.
To succeed in social media you must engage your fans and build relationships that go deeper than a transaction. Facebook gives you a chance to humanize your brand and makes it easy to educate and entertain your customers. If done correctly, your fans will become your advocates spreading not only awareness, but endorsement as well. This is called Engagement marketing and it is one of the most powerful ways to build interest and brand loyalty in your products. Think about it, how much more likely are you to see a movie a friend recommended rather than one that is just advertised on TV? So how do you fuel engagement marketing? The best way to learn is from others who have already done it, in this case, that would be Niche Modern, a company that specializes in modern lighting fixtures and lamps.
Niche Modern recognized the chance to connect with fans and replicate their in person customer service skills by engaging fans on their wall and building a vibrant community of loyal supporters. Of course it’s easy to engage with fans when they’re stroking your ego but what about customers who are disgruntled? Niche Modern responds by empathizing with them and then doing whatever they can to resolve the issue and then leaving the post on the wall. This shows the community that they care about their customers experience and will do everything in their power to rectify any grievances.
How do you post engaging content? There is no magic bullet to produce engaging or viral content, if there was, everyone would be doing it. That said here are some tips: pictures and videos generally work better than just words, ask questions that encourage your fans to respond, post exclusive offers and understand your fans with Facebook Insights. With your posts be succinct, 100-250 characters is a good rule of thumb. Post at least twice a week, creating a content calendar will help.If you’re just posting to your wall less than 16% of your fans are going to see the post but with page post ads that number can shoot to 70-80% of your fans and can be done on a shoestring budget.
Use ads to find fans. Entice them by showing them value and targeting the people that are most likely to be interested instead of just blasting your message across Facebook to everybody. A combination of Facebook ads and Sponsored Stories as well as Page Post ads, to keep your current fans engaged, will be the most beneficial strategy for attracting fans and keeping them coming back. The ads may find the people but it’s the social component that will clinch the like.
You don’t need to be some conglomerate or multinational corporation to excel at engagement marketing; anybody can do it. A vivacious Facebook community offers a variety of tangible benefits: people are 51% more likely to buy a product after liking them on Facebook, fans report visiting and purchasing an average of 2x more than non-fans, more in-store traffic can be generated with exclusive Facebook coupons, you will have a new feedback channel to poll customers, you will have increased participation in promotions. Ultimately engagement marketing boils down to four steps: build a Facebook page, connect to fans with ads, engage fans with quality content, and influence the friends of your fans. Although the ROI may be difficult to quantify, if done correctly the end result will pay off in spades for a long time to come.

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