Google Penalizes Mobile Unfriendly Sites

If your website is not mobile friendly, your sites’ search engine rankings will soon tank. This means if you have a traditional website that does not automatically adjust in format for readability by smartphones and tablets, your site will not show up in search results optimized for these devices. Non-responsive is another term used to describe these sites that are harder for mobile users to navigate.

Why is this change occurring? Google’s announcement states:

Starting April 21, 2015 we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

To find out if Google considers your website Mobile friendly, use the Google Mobile Friendly Test. Paste in the link to your website and click “Analyze.” If your site passes, your done. If your site fails the test, now is the time to update your site to a format friendly to mobile devices.

Over 80% of internet users own a smart phone according to a report by Smart Insights. They state that consumers prefer to use websites through a variety of devices.

You can use your Webmaster Tools account to get a full list of mobile usability issues across your site using the Mobile Usability Report.

If you need help with these updates, feel free to contact me to aid in updating your site or offer a referral.

 

CyberLife Tutors site is mobile friendly

CLT mobile friendly

CLT mobile friendly

Google Privacy Policy Changes November 2013

Google is updating their privacy policy with three changes as of November 2013. The biggest change is the way Google may use our profile name and photo in Google products specifically advertisements. Google refers to this as a Shared Endorsement. This may include reviews, advertising and other commercial contexts. When our connections are on Google products, they may see our photo near a product in those cases where we “Liked” (+) or posted a comment.

Google says this is a way to give our friends the “most useful information.” By posting our profile picture within a product ad, Google is implying that we endorse the product. This may or may not be the situation.

If you choose, you can adjust this Shared Endorsement setting on Google’s Shared Endorsement page.

Google makes lots of money from search and advertising. Do you think it is right for them to use our personal profile image to promote products and services to our connections? Click below and let us know what you think.

Google Plus Circles

Add CyberLife Tutors to Your Google Plus Circles

New LinkedIn Profile Layout Released in Phases

I now have the updated new LinkedIn profile layout. Over the past months, LinkedIn began rolling out the new design to members. The new look features bolder heading to divide sections and highlights recent activity. There are more graphics on the page including company logos and icons for each section of the profile. Only the first few recommendations are immediately visible. To see the rest, click on “See More.” Icons for each of the groups you belong to are now grouped in rows instead of one long column.

With the new LinkedIn profile layout, you can include examples of your work with media links to a video, image, document or presentation. LinkedIn is gradually rolling out this ability to add media links to the Summary, Education and Experience sections. If you don’t see this option on your new LinkedIn profile layout be patient until the feature appears.

To add media links to your new LinkedIn profile layout:

  1. Click Profile at the top of your homepage.
  2. Click Edit in the top section of your profile.
  3. Scroll down to the section where you want to add content and click the add media link (it looks like a square with a plus sign). Move your cursor over the link and you will see, “Add a link to a video, image, document, presentation…”.
  4. Type or paste the link to your content into the Add a link field that appears. A picture of your content will then display with pre-filled Title and Description fields.Note: It may take several seconds for this to happen. You can edit the content in these fields if you wish.
  5. Click Save.

The new LinkedIn profile layout is not compatible with Internet Explorer 7. Upgrade to Internet Explorer 8 to see the new features.

New LinkedIn profile

New LinkedIn profile layout updated features.

If do not have the new LinkedIn profile layout, sign up here: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/sample.

Facebook Rolls Out Friendship and Couples Pages

Facebook creates new friendship and couples Pages combining posts, photos and events that you and another person shared on your Timeline. No need for Facebook members to take action as Facebook creates these pages for you.

If you have a Facebook account, visit any one of your friend’s profiles. Next, click on the gear at the top of the page near the Messages button. Click on “See Friendship.”

Facebook see friendship page

Facebook also introduces new Couples pages. Facebook automatically creates these Couples pages when members change their status to “in a relationship.”

If you are a Facebook member in a relationship, check out your Couples page.

What do you think of the new Facebook Friendship and Couples pages?

 

7 Tips for Using New Pinterest Secret Boards

Pinterest launched Secret Boards and each Pinterest member will find three of these new boards at the bottom of their profile page. Unlike publicly visible content on original Pinterest boards, pictures on Secret Boards is restricted.

Secret Boards are not visible by others and the secret setting can only be chosen for  new new Pinterest boards. Existing public boards will always stay public.

There are 7 tips on how you can use Pinterest Secret Boards.

  1. Collaborate with friends or business partner on a Pinterest Secret Board for a new project. Post project plans and status reports to keep everyone informed.
  2. Offer personalized service to your customers when working one on one. Create a Pinterest Secret Board to use to store meeting notes, next steps and ideas.
  3. Use a Pinterest Secret Board to collect ideas for upcoming blog posts, ebooks or special reports.
  4. Reward your best customers and share your top tips on a Pinterest Secret Board. Let them be the first to learn about the latest news on your company and your industry.
  5. Begin curating photos on your Secret Pinterest Board before a new product launch. On the day of launch, you can make your board public by toggling the “Secret” switch to off.
  6. Plan a surprise party with a group of friends using a Secret Board. Plan dates, times, locations and logistics.
  7. Busy people need to recharge their batteries. Pin travel ideas to a Pinterest Secret Board to share vacation ideas with your family.
Pinterest Secret Board

Toggle to “secret” to create a private Pinterest Secret Board

Gather and organize pictures on your new Pinterest Secret Boards. Create Secret boards to collaborate with specific customers or peers.

How are you using Pinterest Secret Boards? Click on comments to tell us.

7 Tips: Professional Social Media Profile Photos Stand Out

Social media profile photos taken by professionals are easy to spot. They give your profile credibility. On the other hand, amateur shots also stand out though not for the right reasons. With social media sites, often your picture is the first thing a prospective hiring manager or potential client will see. You only have one chance to make your first impression.

Here are 7 recommendations to get the most from your social media profile photos.

  1. Do have a professional photographer take your picture. A good photographer will capture you at your best.
  2. Lighting makes all the difference. Professional photographers know how to use lighting to enhance your features.
  3. Do not use an avatar, logo or other graphic instead of a profile photo. This is your opportunity to allow others to see you and feel connected. It is also against most sites term of service and your account may be deleted.
  4. Post the same picture on all your social media sites for continuity. Others will be sure to recognize you when they see the familiar photo.
  5. Just you in the picture. Your profile is only about you. Do not post a group shot or you with your spouse. This is especially important with LinkedIn profiles.
  6. Use a head shot for your profile photo and not a full profile. We want to connect and recognize you. With a full length shot, your features are too small to recognize. Want to see and recognize you.
  7. Update your picture every one or two years. Some of my connections have not changed their profile pictures in years. Once I met a new contact at a restaurant and walked right past them because they no longer resembled the person pictured in their social media profile.

Before you hand your cell phone to a friend to shoot a photo of you, consider what a professional photographer can do for you. Here are two profile photos shot by professional photographers Jared Silver and Carlos Vergara.

Did you hire a professional photographer to take your social media profile picture? Click comment below and tell us.

April M. Williams

April M. Williams profile photo by Jared Silver.

 

April M. Williams profile photo by Carlos Vergara

April M. Williams profile photo by Carlos Vergara

 

Social Media Post Ideas When Legal Regulations Apply

Legal regulations can restrict the types of public comments for those in legal, finance and other fields. Members of regulated fields often tell me they cannot use any social media sites for this reason. Comments they make could be interpreted as legal or financial advice and come back to haunt them. Of course, any qualified professional would not make blanket recommendations intended for everyone. I certainly cannot recommend any one social media solution for all businesses.

These lawyers and financial managers see others engaging with prospects, building credibility and defining their brand. They want to get involved in social media but they do not want to risk future legal battles.

I ask them if they are barred from using any social media site. The answer is usually “No.” They can use the sites but cannot give professional advice.

Do you feel like you can't use social media?

Do you feel like you can’t use social media?

Here are ideas for those of you in legal, financial or other professions would like to take part in social media sites and are required to restrict your comments. These techniques develop your brand and credibility while showing you stay current with relevent news in your field.

  • Read online business sections of the paper and post links to stories of interest to your customers and prospects.
  • Post government housing starts, unemployment rates and other timely statistics.
  • Share commentary or opinion articles and ask others if they agree or disagree.
  • Let others know about community or local charity events.
  • Highlight news about your customers.

What other ways can professional share news and topical information without giving individual advice?

Who Uses Social Networking Sites? You Might Be Surprised

Older adults are using social media sites despite the myth that they are offline. The Pew Research Center recently published these internet usage statistics by age. These statistics may surprise you. According to their research, 34% of adults over 65 years of age now use social networking sites. This is a dramatic rise from just 1% in 2006. Computer usage in schools led to high internet and social networking use among younger adults. It is less startling to see the highest social networking usage is for those between 18-29 years of age. As you can see from the Pew Research Center graph below, the social media adoption rate among older age groups is must steeper than for younger users.

Social networking usage by age group 2005 – 20012. Graph courtesy Pew Research Center

For businesses, these statistics are valuable for knowing how best to reach your target audience. Few of us have the time or energy to actively participate on every social networking site. We are more effective with our time by selecting social media sites which are most likely to reach our desired audience. For instance, there are almost twice as many men (63%) using LinkedIn as there are women (37%). Pinterest, a virtual bulletin board social networking site only two years old and already almost one fifth (19%) of women have accounts.

Can your business ignore Facebook? The Pew Research Center says that 92% of adults use Facebook. With 100 million members, can you afford to miss out on the opportunity to reach so many people?

What is luring older adults to the internet and social networking? The wish to connect with others. Grandparents want to see real-time photos and get updates on their grandchildren. We can share experiences with friends and family whether they are across town or on the other side of the globe. In a typical day, I interact online with friends in Japan, England, Hawaii, Florida, Texas, California and beyond.

Click on comments and let us know which social networking sites you find are best for your business.

Twitter Lauches Cover Photos for Profiles

Twitter cover or header images launch follows the Facebook and Google+ cover image roll out. The new Twitter header image displays at the top of the Twitter profile. Your profile image, bio, location and website appear as an overlay on top of your Twitter header image.

Unlike Facebook, the Twitter header image roll out does not include restrictions on what is included in the image. Facebook does not allow calls to action (click here), contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that Facebook believes should go in your Facebook Page’s “About” section.

Update your Twitter profile cover image and let your followers see what you are about. To update your Twitter header image, log in to your Twitter account.

  1. Click on the “Settings” wheel at the top right corner of the page.
  2. Click on “Design”.
  3. Click on “Change Header”.
  4. Select “Use Existing Image.” Navigate to the location of the image you would like to use. Use the slider bar to zoom in or out of your image. Note the minimum dimension are 1252×626 and maximum file size is 5MB.
  5. Click “Save”. Your new Twitter header image will now show on your profile.

As autumn approaches, I uploaded an image highlighting fall foliage. I plan to update my header images on occasion. Check out the images we are using now at @aprilmwilliams, @cyberlifetutors and @waytb.

Click on comments and share links to your favorite Twitter profiles with great header images.

Twitter header image

Twitter launches header images

How to Use Google Plus for Marketing Your Business

How to use Google Plus for marketing your business was one of the topics we covered at this months free Social Media Roundtable at the Shah Center in McHenry. Few of the attendees were aware of Google Plus and how to use it as a marketing tool. Visit our CyberLife Tutors calendar to learn more about our upcoming Social Media Roundtables and another events.

Google indexes updates and photos shared on your Google Plus business page for Google search. When someone does a Google search for the words included in these posts, they may see your Google Plus comments in their search results. Free search engine optimization (SEO) for your company!

Customers often tell me they do not know what to say on social media sites. It is exhausting to creating new content for your social media sites. Instead, post links to interesting articles you read and add your own two cents. That is what I did with the infographic below. Start with an idea then package it with your own learnings and knowledge.

The best time of day to post is not the same for all businesses. As dallas seo expert advises us, “Consider your audience and when they log in. During the class, attendees said they check social media sites before work (7AM), at lunch (noon), about dinner time (5PM) and before bed (10PM).” If your audience crosses time zones, adjust your post times to match so your content is more likely read.

Google Business Pages consolidates content from former Google Local pages including photos, hours, maps and reviews. Connect with customers and prospects to build relationships. Build a customer service hub. Create a public forum for others to gather, share and learn.

The infographic below suggests we spend an hour on Google Plus each day. For most business people, I find that amount of time excessive considering they are also using other social media sites and have a job to do. Certainly,  devoting 15 minutes a day to your Google Plus account would be a great start.

Google is beginning to roll out vanity URLs for Google Plus to a small number of members. You can get a gplus.to Google Plus vanity URL today.

Connect with CyberLife Tutors and April M. Williams on Google Plus. Click on Comments and tell us about how you use Google Plus in your business.

How to Use Google plus for Business Infographic

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